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A key figure in the scandal which left two former Utah attorneys general facing criminal charges will stand trial in January on accusations of fraud and money laundering stemming from plans to develop a ritzy, but now defunct, Beaver County resort.
Marc Sessions Jenson and his brother Stephen R. Jenson are charged as co-defendants in the 3rd District Court case involving the Mount Holly Club, an upscale golf and ski resort near Beaver.
Prosecutors allege the brothers, who tried to turn the little Elk Meadows ski area into a $3.5 billion development with luxury homes, a private ski mountain and a Jack Nicklaus-designed golf course, failed to disclose required information to investors, including that Marc Jenson had served time in federal prison for not paying taxes and had filed for bankruptcy.
Both men have pleaded not guilty to the charges, which were filed against them by the Utah attorney general's office in August 2011.
A nine-day trial is set to begin with jury selection Jan. 9, and a pool of 120 potential jurors has been called, Judge Elizabeth Hruby-Mills said at a final scheduling hearing Monday.
Marc Jenson is charged with eight second-degree felonies: four counts of communications fraud, three counts of money laundering and one count of committing a pattern of illegal activity.
The attorney general's office bowed out of the case, handing it over to the Utah County attorney's office after Marc Jenson's defense team alleged a conflict of interest.
In 2013, amid investigations of former Utah Attorneys General Mark Shurtleff and John Swallow, Marc Jenson alleged the two were squeezing him for cash, favors and luxury treatment at Jenson's Southern California villa. The businessman contends he was prosecuted only after refusing what he has termed a "shakedown."
Shurtleff and Swallow were then charged in July with multiple felony and misdemeanor charges for an alleged corruption scheme that included taking bribes to protect big campaign donors who operated businesses that could run into legal trouble.
Both former GOP officeholders have denied the allegations. Hruby-Mills has ruled that neither man can be called to testify during the Jenson trial.
Marc Jenson is already behind bars on an unrelated fraud conviction.
Stephen R. Jenson is charged with four counts of communications fraud, six counts of money laundering, and one count of pattern of unlawful activity, all second-degree felonies.