A thirtysomething con artist was busted late this week for posing as a 15-year-old girl enrolled at New Life Christian School in the northeast Texas city of Longview.
She also managed to trick her 23-year-old boyfriend into thinking she was 18-years-old.
Whatever the case, she’s not 15 or 18.
Johnson, who police say used the last name Stevens during her schemes, was arrested this week for the misdemeanor crime of failing to identify herself.
Prior to her arrest, Johnson had managed to convince a concerned woman, Tamica Lincoln, that she was a 15-year-old orphan.
Lincoln, who at 30 years old is younger than Johnson, enrolled Johnson in October as a 10th grader at New Life Christian (where tuition appears to be nominal).
The two grown women met at their place of employment: a McDonald’s restaurant located inside a local Wal-Mart.
The 30-year-old guardian told KLTV that Johnson’s sob story had been that she was abused by her biological father before he died. She said her mother was also dead. She said she was living on the streets.
Lincoln took Johnson into her home. She bought her clothes. She did her hair. Later, Lincoln attended the 34-year-old woman’s parent-teacher conferences where teachers gushed about how well Johnson was handling 10th-grade academic material.
“She acted like a kid. She did her homework. She got good report cards,” Lincoln said, according to the Mail.
Johnson’s boyfriend, 23-year-old Rickie Williams, was equally flabbergasted.
“I was shocked,” he told KLTV. “I did not know she was 31.”
The pair began dating last summer. Johnson had told Williams she was 18.
Johnson’s fraud began to unravel after she contacted What About Us, a charity that assists women and girls, claiming to be a troubled 14-year-old girl.
Osarieme Obaseki, who runs the Dallas-based nonprofit, visited Johnson on Mother’s Day — even bringing a homemade card.
The visit left Obaseki unimpressed, however, not least because she could not help but notice that Johnson did not have the body type she is used to seeing in teenagers.
Obaseki’s concerns persuaded Lincoln to make some inquiries. Lincoln convinced the management at the Wal-Mart McDonald’s to pull Johnson’s file. Turns out, according to that file, Johnson was born in 1979.
“It’s just been a lot of lies and cover-up,” Obaseki said, according to the Daily Mail. “Nobody I spoke to has said it’s ever been a financial situation. She had money! It’s not that, at all.”
Officials at New Life Christian sent a letter home to parents concerning the now-outed middle-aged student.
Meanwhile, Johnson has been sitting in Gregg County Jail this week pending a $500 bond.