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Salt Lake County prosecutors have filed additional felony charges against the so-called "fixer" for former Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff, alleging that Timothy Lawson bilked the Social Security Administration out of nearly $90,000.
Lawson, 51, was charged Thursday in Salt Lake City's 3rd District Court with one count each of second-degree felony communications fraud, theft by deception and making false or inconsistent material statements.
Second-degree felonies are punishable by a prison term of one to 15 years.
No court dates were immediately set.
Lawson's attorney, Ron Yengich, said he was not surprised by the new charges, adding that the Salt Lake County District Attorney's Office had threatened to file the charges for some time.
"He intends to defend [the charges] vigorously," Yengich said, "and he maintains his innocence."
Court papers assert that, in April 2012 and September 2013, Lawson appeared before administrative judges from the Social Security Office of Disability Adjudication and Review, stating that he had not worked, or had worked only five hours per week, since 2009.
The claims resulted in a January 2014 award of $86,810 in Social Security compensation to Lawson and his family, court papers say. Lawson received $32,172, according to the documents, and his kids got $54,638.
But prosecutors say Lawson's claims of indigence occurred at the same time he filed Utah Department of Workforce Services papers stating that between January 2009 and May 2010 he held a 33 percent share in a Marshall Islands-based hovercraft business and was working for the company as much as 50 hours per week.
Lawson also founded and ran the New Grains Gluten Free Bakery in 2010, court papers state, citing statements from former employees who said he conducted financial operations for the company.
The documents also cite statements from Marc Sessions Jenson, a Salt Lake City businessman who claims to have paid Lawson $120,000 in 2009 for access to Shurtleff, who was then the state's attorney general and prosecuting Jenson.
Jenson and Lawson are key figures in the criminal cases pending against Shurtleff and his successor, former Attorney General John Swallow, that grew from allegations of corruption inside the state's top law office.
Lawson was also the first person charged as part of the sweeping investigation by state and federal agents along with prosecutors in Davis and Salt Lake counties.
He faces six felonies including counts of tax evasion, witness tampering, obstruction of justice and a pattern of unlawful conduct stemming from allegations that he attempted to intimidate or threaten individuals with ties to Shurtleff and Swallow. Some of those individuals were facing their own criminal charges.
Lawson has not yet entered a plea in that case. A preliminary hearing is set for April.
Shurtleff and Swallow have both pleaded not guilty to multiple felony and misdemeanor counts. Their separate cases are ongoing with Davis County Attorney Troy Rawlings prosecuting Shurtleff and Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill overseeing the Swallow case.