Crime Catching Up With Reid

Davis County, Utah Attorney Troy Rawlings is investigating Nevada Senator Harry Reid in connection with a pay-to-play scheme involving two former Utah attorneys general. Reid has denied wrongdoing since a businessman said in 2013 that a former Utah attorney general arranged a deal to pay the senator to get rid of a federal investigation into a software business.

Reid’s name came up as Rawlings looks into the actions of former Utah attorneys general John Shurtleff and John Swallow. The two were arrested after engaging in a scheme where they traded favors with businessmen in trouble with regulators during their combined 13 years running the state office.

Both Shurtleff and Swallow had dealings and received donations from indicted St. George businessman Jeremy Johnson in 2014. Court documents detail how Johnson sought Swallow’s help to ward off civil and criminal investigations into his company’s IWorks’ business interests.

Johnson went on to implicate Reid in two bribery schemes.

Other documents filed in 2014 lay out a series of email exchanges between Johnson, Swallow and the late Provo payday-loan magnate Richard Rawle. They show that Swallow was helping Johnson send funds through Rawle to a contact close to Reid in hopes of securing a meeting with the Senator.

Johnson claimed he needed Reid’s help to make a Federal Trade Commission case against him, disappear. The same documents show that Johnson sent Rawle $250,000, some of which allegedly went to Swallow.

Johnson recorded conversations between himself and Shurtleff which also include how a group of online poker business owners funneled $2 million to Reid in 2010 to get the Nevada Senator to introduce legislation legalizing online poker. Reid had promised Nevada’s gambling industry a federal law to legalize Internet poker by the end of 2012, calling it Nevada’s “most important issue” since the nuclear waste dump at Yucca Mountain was scuttled.

Swallow has pleaded not guilty to bribery charges and Shurtleff has pleaded not guilty to obstructing justice charges. Both have trials scheduled in 2016.

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