Former Cocoa Company Executives Arrested For Defrauding Lenders Of $400 Million

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Three former executives at Transmar Commodity Group Ltd have been charged with defrauding banks to win a $400 million credit line for their now bankrupt New Jersey-based cocoa trading company, federal prosecutors said on Tuesday.

Peter G. Johnson, who was Transmar’s chief executive; his son Peter B. Johnson, who oversaw Transmar’s Euromar Commodities affiliate; and Thomas Reich, the former finance vice president, were each charged with bank fraud, wire fraud affecting a financial institution and conspiracy to commit fraud.

The three men appeared in federal court in Manhattan on Tuesday afternoon and were released on bail. They are scheduled to appear again on Friday before U.S. District Judge Jed Rakoff.

“I didn’t do it,” the younger Johnson said to reporters as he walked out of the courtroom.

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