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And then there were three.

Bryce Payne, general manager of St. George businessman's Jeremy Johnson's online marketing company, admitted Tuesday that he conspired with others to violate federal banking and wire fraud laws.

Facing the possibility of a decade or more in prison if found guilty in a trial starting Monday, Payne reached a plea agreement with government prosecutors that calls for a sentence that can range from no prison time to three years and four months. Sentencing was set for May 5.

Payne is the second of five defendants to reach a resolution in the nearly 5-year-old case.

Payne's plea came after U.S. District Judge David Nuffer placed tight restrictions on what the defendants can present as evidence at the trial in which final jury selection is scheduled to begin Monday.

Charges against Loyd Johnston were dismissed after he argued that the U.S. attorney's office had breached an immunity agreement when he was charged along with the four others.

Payne, a St. George resident, was facing 86 charges that centered on alleged bank fraud. Grand jury indictments alleged Payne and the others defrauded Wells Fargo Bank by creating a series of "shell companies" that were used to obtain accounts that would enable Johnson's I Works company to continue charging consumer credit cards after the company was placed on a watch list because of a high rate of consumer chargebacks.

But in recent rulings, Nuffer has restricted the defendants in the case from introducing evidence at trial that Wells Fargo suffered no monetary losses as a result of any fraud, something government prosecutors have acknowledged. The remaining three defendants also cannot argue that the bank or its agents helped set up the accounts in question or at least knew and didn't object to them or that the accounts were an attempt to root out fraud by independent affiliates who were marketing I Works' products.

Payne, in a statement recently filed with the court, said he started working for I Works in 2003 to help manage the company's telephone system and became operations manager in 2007, responsible for its electronics systems. He became general manager in 2009 "as I Works began to wind up its business model." The three remaining defendants are Johnson, Ryan Riddle and Scott Leavitt. Johnson and Riddle have dumped their court-appointed attorneys and are planning to present their own cases at the trial.

Leavitt's attorney, Marcus Mumford, filed a motion Monday that seeks to dismiss the case. Mumford argues that none of the accounts was with Wells Fargo Bank. Instead, the accounts were at a limited liability company owned by the bank and a credit card processor. That means the accounts aren't subject to federal banking laws and the charges should be dismissed, the motion argues.