Three years after his conviction in a mortgage fraud scheme, Jamis Melwood Johnson has won another delay in his sentencing on 27 federal charges.
The sentencing date, which had been set for Tuesday, is now Aug. 7. Johnson’s attorney had asked for 60 days to respond to prosecution motions seeking restitution and forfeiture but U.S. District Judge Clark Waddoups said at a Tuesday hearing that about 30 days is sufficient.
Despite the delay, Johnson, 62, is not free: He has been serving a 1-to-15-year term since June 2012 for violating his probation conditions in a Utah state fraud case.
In the federal case, Johnson, a disbarred Salt Lake City attorney, was found guilty in March 2011 by a jury on charges of conspiracy, money laundering and wire and mail fraud. The charges were related to a scheme that used false loan documents and straw buyers to strip millions of dollars from lenders.
Sentencing was postponed so Johnson or his attorney could prepare a motion for a new trial. However, two court-appointed attorneys withdrew from the case because, according to Johnson, they had a disagreement on how to proceed.
The latest delay was requested, in part, to give Johnson time to respond to prosecution motions submitted last week that seek the forfeiture of about $1.6 million and restitution of $3.6 million.
In addition to his lawyer’s motion requesting a delay, Johnson sent a letter to Waddoups saying he needs more time to prepare his own briefs for sentencing, including a statement of mitigating circumstances. A recent prison-wide lockdown that curtails legal visits and telephone calls has slowed the process, the letter says.
In the state case, Johnson was convicted in 2007 of one count of securities fraud in a swindle targeting Delta area dairy farmers, according to court documents. Johnson was sentenced to up to 15 years in prison but the term was suspended and he was ordered to spend six months in jail and six months of home confinement.
Johnson was sent to state prison in June 2012 after prosecutors alleged he violated the terms of his probation by continuing to work and associate with a co-defendant in the Delta case. His next parole hearing is scheduled for June 2017.
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