Sunday, January 13, 2013

SENATOR HARRY REID ACCUSED OF ACCEPTING BRIBES…

Excerpt from Salt Lake Tribune

Embattled St. George businessman Jeremy Johnson says new Utah Attorney General John Swallow helped broker a deal in 2010 in which Johnson believed he was to pay Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid $600,000 to make a federal investigation into Johnson’s company go away.
But when the federal government filed a lawsuit Johnson thought he had paid to quash, he demanded Swallow return some of the $250,000 initial payment. Then, just days before the Nov. 6 election, Johnson engaged in a frenetic but unsuccessful effort to get Swallow to drop out of the race, saying information about what Johnson called a "bribe" would come out and force the Republican’s resignation if he became attorney general.
Political clout » Johnson sought help from Swallow in early 2010, when he felt the FTC was unjustly targeting him and I Works with an investigation into the company’s business practices.
At the time, Johnson was largely known in Utah as a wealthy philanthropist who spent hundreds of thousands of dollars to ferry supplies into Haiti after the devastating 2010 earthquake.
Johnson, his business partners and family members also were generous political donors, having given more than $200,000 in campaign contributions to then-Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff starting in 2008 while Swallow served as Shurtleff’s lead fundraiser. Johnson also supported charities and Attorney General’s Office initiatives in which Shurtleff was involved. Johnson flew Shurtleff on his private jet to a fundraiser in California. Photographs from the summer of 2009 show the two men sitting in Johnson’s yellow Lamborghini sports car.
Copies of emails show Swallow worked with Shurtleff to arrange meetings between Johnson and top Utah officeholders.
Copies of emails show Swallow worked with Shurtleff to arrange meetings between Johnson and top Utah officeholders.
On Friday, Johnson and federal prosecutors aborted a deal in which he was to plead guilty to bank fraud and money laundering, with an 11-year prison sentence recommended to the judge.
"The truth is the worst thing I think I’ve done was I paid money knowing it was going to influence Harry Reid," he said. "So I’ve felt all along that I’ve committed bribery of some sort there."
Then, with the FTC investigation continuing, Johnson said Swallow suggested Reid could make problems with regulators go away — for a price. READ THE FULL STORY

Related: Businessman in fraud case ties Harry Reid to scheme

Published January 12, 2013
Published January 12, 2013


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