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State prosecutors filed a new felony money-laundering charge Wednesday against former Utah Attorney General John Swallow, days ahead of a scheduled hearing to determine whether he will stand trial on 14 criminal counts alleging corruption while he was in office.
The prosecution team also detailed whom they plan to call to the witness stand to make the case against Swallow at his upcoming preliminary hearing. The list includes indicted businessman Jeremy Johnson, convicted businessman Marc Sessions Jenson, former Chief Deputy Attorney General Kirk Torgensen and other lawyers in the A.G.'s office and campaign staff.
One of the charges against Swallow a misdemeanor allegation that he failed to disclose of conflict of interest was dropped, meaning he will face 13 felony counts and one misdemeanor when he appears June 8 in 3rd District Court for a weeklong hearing to determine if there is enough evidence to require him to stand trial.
If convicted, he could face up to 30 years in prison.
Swallow, who was forced to resign after less than a year in office, is accused of accepting gold coins and houseboat trips, soliciting and receiving bribes, destroying and fabricating evidence, and lying to investigators.
The new money-laundering count, a second-degree felony, accuses Swallow of accepting and moving money that was the product of illegal activity before he became attorney general.
Swallow and his predecessor, former three-term Attorney General Mark Shurtleff, who faces nine felony counts, have maintained they are innocent.
Shurtleff is scheduled to appear in court a week after Swallow.
The charges stem from the most sweeping corruption scandal in Utah history and months of investigation by state law officers and the FBI, as well as separate probes by the lieutenant governor's office and the Utah House.
Swallow and Shurtleff were arrested and charged last July.
The witness list prosecutors produced Wednesday consists of 33 individuals who have been called to testify during the five-day preliminary hearing.
In addition to primary accusers such as Johnson, who alleges Swallow helped him arrange a deal to avoid a federal investigation, and Jenson, who says Swallow and Shurtleff extorted money and favors from him the list includes Scott Reed, the former criminal division chief; Thom Roberts, an attorney in the A.G.'s office; and Jared Pierce, who headed a company under investigation by the state who let Swallow use his Lake Mead houseboat.
It also includes Tim Bell, the plaintiff in a mortgage lawsuit the state joined who hosted a fundraiser for Swallow; Jerry Jensen, the state's attorney on the mortgage case; campaign staffers Renae Cowley, Seth Crossley and Jessica Fawson; and Jonathan Eborn, who ran a coaching company and has said Swallow promised special treatment to donors.
Witnesses will be cross-examined by Swallow's attorney, Stephen McCaughey, but defense witnesses will not be called. Swallow will not testify during the hearing.
The witness list
Here is a list of some of the figures on the prosecution's witness list for former Attorney General John Swallow's preliminary hearing, scheduled to begin June 8.
• Marc Sessions Jenson: A convicted businessman who says Swallow and former Attorney General Mark Shurtleff shook him down for gifts and favors.
• Kirk Torgensen: Chief deputy attorney general to Swallow and Shurtleff.
• Scott Reed: Former head of the criminal division in the attorney general's office.
• Jonathan Eborn: A businessman who ran a coaching company and says Swallow promised donors special treatment by the attorney general's office.
• Jeremy Johnson: An indicted St. George businessman who says Swallow helped arrange a deal to solicit then-Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's help in avoiding a federal investigation of Johnson's I Works company.
• Jared Pierce: a businessman whose company was under investigation by the state and let Swallow use his luxurious Lake Mead houseboat.
• Travis Marker: An attorney representing Johnson, who says Swallow offered his assistance to Johnson in exchange for $120,000.
• Timothy Bell: A plaintiff in a mortgage lawsuit the state joined whounderreported donations to Swallow for a campaign fundraiser.
• Renae Cowley: A former Swallow campaign staffer.
• Seth Crossley: One of Swallow's campaign staffers who expressed concerns at the candidate's fundraising practices.
• Jessica Fawson: Swallow's former campaign manager.
• Jerry Jensen: An assistant attorney general who handled the Bell mortgage case.
• Thom Roberts: An assistant attorney general who handles gambling issues, among others.
• Cort Walker: The head of a payday-lenders association.
• Jon Isakson and Crystal Bowen: FBI agents who investigated the Swallow and Shurtleff cases.
• Shelly Exeter: Administrative assistant to Shurtleff and Swallow.
• Mark Burns: A former assistant attorney general.
• Chris Earl: The state's IT manager who, at Swallow's request, erased Swallow's hard drives.
• Aaron Christner: A coaching company owner who was under investigation by the state when Swallow said he planned to move the Division of Consumer Protection into the attorney general's office.
• Jeff Buckner: The assistant attorney general assigned to the Department of Commerce.
• Daniel O'Bannon: Director of the Utah Division of Consumer Protection.
• Michelle Pickens: Supervising FBI agent.
• Scott Nesbitt: Investigator with the Utah Department of Public Safety.