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The charges against Swallow, Shurtleff

Published July 15, 2014 9:05 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2014, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Former Utah Attorney Generals Mark Shurtleff and John Swallow were arrested Tuesday morning, and the pair faces a combined 23 charges.

Both Shurtleff and Swallow said they look forward to their day in court to defend themselves. Here is a listing of the charges against both men and some of the highlights from the charges.

Charges against John Swallow

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Count 1 •Â Pattern of unlawful activity, second-degree felony

Count 2 • Accepting a gift, second-degree felony

Counts 3-5 • Receiving or soliciting a bribe, second-degree felonies

Count 6 •Â False or inconsistent material statements, second-degree felony

Counts 7-9 •Â Tampering with evidence, third-degree felony

Count 10 • Misuse of public money, third-degree felony

Count 11 • Obstructing justice, third-degree felony

Count 12 •Â Falsification or alteration of government record, class B misdemeanor

Count 13 • Failure to disclose conflict of interest, class B misdemeanor

Highlights of the charges against Swallow

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• Swallow allegedly was given 12 gold coins as a gift from Richard Rawle, the now-deceased owner of the Provo-based Check City payday-loan chain, and selling them back to Rawle for a total of $17,000.

• Swallow is accused of using a private jet, 75-foot luxury houseboat, sports car and spacious homes belonging to Jeremy Johnson, a St. George businessman, at a time Johnson was seeking an opinion from Swallow, then Utah's chief deputy attorney general, that Johnson's company could legally process online-poker payments through a Utah bank.

• Swallow allegedly helped arrange a deal in which Johnson would pay Rawle $250,000 to enlist the help of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., to stave off a federal investigation of Johnson's I Works business. Swallow received money from Rawle after the deal, which Swallow had said was payment for consulting work he did on an unrelated Nevada cement project.

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• After Johnson was charged, Swallow allegedly told Johnson's then-attorney "there might be more options available" to resolve Johnson's criminal case if Johnson could pay Swallow $120,000.

• After an April 2012 meeting with Johnson at an Orem Krispy Kreme doughnut shop, Swallow allegedly began destroying evidence to cover up his involvement in the Johnson-Rawle deal. Swallow also allegedly created false invoices and day-planner entries for work allegedly done on the cement project.

• Swallow is accused of failing to report income he had received and his interest in several businesses on his conflict-of-interest disclosure.

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• As attorney general, Swallow allegedly directed the state IT department to repair his home computer at taxpayer expense.

• Swallow is accused of traveling to Newport Beach, Calif., three times and staying in a villa owned by Marc Sessions Jenson, who at the time was free on a plea deal then-Attorney General Mark Shurtleff was involved in negotiating. The trips were at Jenson's expense. At the time, Jenson was under the supervision of the Utah attorney general's office and owed $4.1 million in restitution.

• Swallow allegedly participated in mortgage-reduction negotiations on behalf of Tim Bell, who later held a fundraiser for Swallow's campaign. Swallow is accused of subsequently asking a campaign staffer to instruct Bell to report the fundraiser cost $1,000, even though it cost Bell $28,000.

• During sworn depositions with investigators from the Utah lieutenant governor's office, Swallow allegedly made "numerous false or inconsistent statements" about the sale of the gold coins and "gifts and/or bribes Swallow solicited or received."

•Â During interviews with the FBI in March 2013, Swallow allegedly provided false information "regarding the Jenson cases, campaign donations and gifts and/or bribes received."

Charges against Mark Shurtleff

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Count 1 •Â Pattern of unlawful activity, second-degree felony

Counts 2-4 • Receiving or soliciting a bribe, second-degree felonies

Counts 5-6 • Accepting a gift, second-degree felony

Count 7 •Â Accepting employment that would impair judgment, second-degree felony

Count 8 •Â Tampering with a witness, third-degree felony

Count 9 • Tampering with evidence, third-degree felony

Count 10 • Obstructing justice, third-degree felony

Highlights of the charges against Shurtleff

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•Â Shurtleff is accused of helping to negotiate a plea deal on securities charges for Marc Sessions Jenson, then twice staying at Jenson's lavish Newport Beach villa.

•Â Shurtleff is accused on the second trip of hitting up Jenson for $2 million to pay another businessman, Darl McBride, to take down a website critical of Mark Robbins, a Utah developer who had been a former Jenson business partner. Jenson refused the request. He later was charged with eight felony counts related to the now-defunct development of a golf and ski resort near Beaver.

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• Shurtleff was allegedly encouraged by St. George businessman Jeremy Johnson, a major Shurtleff donor, to greenlight a legal opinion that Johnson's company could process online-poker payments at a Utah bank co-owned by Johnson. Around that time, Shurtleff used Johnson's private aircraft several times.

• In 2008 and 2009, Shurtleff allegedly told businessmen at a fundraiser he would defend them if there were complaints against their businesses. One businessman, Jonathan Eborn, later met privately with Shurtleff, who offered to notify the man if a complaint was made against him. Swallow later contacted him and asked him to donate to Shurtleff's campaign. Eborn gave $30,000 to Shurtleff's accounts.

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• Shurtleff also allegedly dismissed a massive mortgage-foreclosure lawsuit against Bank of America, contrary to the wishes of staff prosecutors, at a time he was negotiating a job with a law firm that represented the bank.

• During an interview in May 2013 with FBI agents, Shurtleff allegedly provided false information on several matters.