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Trial set for Jeremy Johnson, four co-workers
Courts » The scandal around his case toppled Utah Attorney General John Swallow.
First Published Aug 05 2014 02:41 pm • Last Updated Aug 05 2014 09:56 pm

Three years into his criminal case, St. George businessman Jeremy Johnson finally has a trial date.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Paul Warner scheduled Johnson and four others from Johnson’s defunct I Works online marketing and sales company to stand trial March 2 on 86 charges related to alleged bank fraud.

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The Salt Lake City trial, to be presided over by U.S. District Judge David Nuffer, is projected to last four to six weeks.

In setting a trial date, Warner pointed to the time that has passed since Johnson was first charged in June 2011. The four others were named in a new indictment in March 2013.

"So, for Mr. Johnson, this has been going on for three years," Warner said. "For the other four it’s been going on a year and a half."

The charges allege that the five created a series of shell companies with straw owners to open new bank accounts through which they could process credit and debit cards after I Works accounts were closed due to a high volume of customer chargebacks.

Johnson, who is under a gag order in the criminal case, contends I Works employees were directed by bank agents to create the new companies in a manner that he says is standard industry practice.

Warner scheduled another hearing for Nov. 5 to give defense attorneys time to wade through a mountain of evidence seized from I Works before he sets further deadlines.

Johnson is at the center of the scandal that toppled then-Attorney General John Swallow and, ultimately, led to criminal charges against Swallow and his predecessor, Mark Shurtleff.

tharvey@sltrib.com


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