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Tempers, emotions and the F-word burst suddenly into the federal court trial of St. George businessman Jeremy Johnson on Thursday.

And if that wasn't enough, it came during a lull in the testimony of a Las Vegas strip club dancer who had been kicked out of Warren Jeffs' polygamous sect as a teen, worked for Johnson and lived with the businessman's family.

The eruption occurred during the testimony of Elizabeth Lacy Holm, who — according to documents filed by prosecutors — was a dancer in 2011 at the Spearmint Rhino in Las Vegas after she left her post with a Johnson company. The documents don't show whether she is still employed by the club. Holm is a government witness because her name and personal information were used by Johnson's online marketing company called I Works to form what prosecutors call shell companies. Those companies were then used to apply for bank accounts in order to hide Johnson's involvement and to continue to charge consumer credit cards after banks shut off I Works accounts because of a large number of chargebacks, prosecutors allege.

Johnson and two former top-level I Works employees, Ryan Riddle and Scott Leavitt, allegedly committed bank fraud and other offenses, charges that could land them years or even decades in prison.

Holm was first called to testify Feb. 19 about several of the companies that were formed under her name. But she invoked her constitutional right against self-incrimination, which caused a delay in her testimony and the appointment of an attorney to represent her.

When Holm returned to the stand Thursday, her court-appointed attorney, Clayton Simms, was on hand. Johnson, who is acting as his own attorney, was cross-examining Holm when he sought to introduce as evidence a 2011 Facebook chat between himself and Holm in order, he said, to call into question some of her testimony.

U.S. District Judge David Nuffer asked Simms to look at the document, and he started to view it on a computer screen located on the second of two tables where the defendants, their attorneys and others are seated.

Defense attorney Marcus Mumford, sitting at the front table, turned around and saw Simms there, got animated and said something. Later, with the jury out of the courtroom, Simms said he wanted to make a record of what had occurred.

Mumford jumped in to say that he had earlier had a conflict with Simms, who had berated him in front of prosecutors.

"I don't trust him," Mumford told the judge. "I don't trust anything he does."

While Simms was looking at the screen, Mumford told Simms to view the document at the prosecution tables, Mumford told the judge, then added, "I think I whispered get the f—- over there."

When Nuffer asked Simms what he had heard, Simms paused and choked up before saying that Mumford had twice used the F-word during the exchange.

Nuffer admonished those in the courtroom to observe proper decorum and, after praising Simms' representation of Holm, told Mumford he would hold a hearing later about a possible contempt of court finding.

Nuffer and Mumford have had several clashes during the trial, now in its third week, with proceedings anticipated to last at least three weeks more.

Holm had been born into the Jeffs polygamous community, then left with her mother at age 6. She returned at age 16 to the community, but she was kicked out by Jeffs, according to a government account of an interview she had with federal agents and a prosecutor.

Holm testified that Johnson had asked her to sign documents, but that she did not know that companies had been formed under her name or that bank accounts tied to the companies were used for processing credit cards of the customers of I Works or other companies that were selling its products online.

She seemed most upset about documents Simms showed her two days ago that claimed about $5 million had passed through the accounts.

Federal prosecutors also introduced as evidence print-outs of a text conversation that Johnson had with her over the weekend about her testimony, apparently to try to show that Johnson was trying to influence her testimony.

"I just found out two days ago about the money that was processed in my name, and the crazy part is it was even done after I moved out of your house," Holm wrote.

"You're kidding, right?" Johnson replied.

For his part, Johnson introduced into evidence some of the Facebook conversation with which he hoped to show that Holm previously had known about the companies and revenues they generated, despite her testimony to the contrary.

But on the witness stand, Holm continued to deny knowledge about the companies and expressed shock at the amount of money that had gone through them.

"I didn't realize what was going on under the surface of everything," she said.

Johnson then asked questions about how much monetary support he had provided to her, including paying for school and giving her a place to live. But the prosecution objected and Nuffer shut off that line of questioning.