Utah Corruption Probe: Former Attorney Gen. Tried to Sell Access to Harry Reid

Reid’s name did surface in charging documents for Swallow, which spelled out a lengthy narrative of events that in part led to the arrests. The documents describe a deal-gone-bad in which prosecutors say Swallow tried to play the role of match-maker. Swallow allegedly took a cut of a $250,000 payment he brokered from Internet marketing mogul Jeremy Johnson, who was facing an investigation into his business by the Federal Trade Commission. In exchange, Swallow promised to enlist the help of a prominent businessman to reach out to Reid on Johnson’s behalf. Although Johnson paid the money, he never got a meeting with Reid. He was later sued by the FTC and faces fraud charges. He has pleaded not guilty.

The entire episode splashed into public view last year after a local newspaper posted an audio recording on its website in which Swallow and Johnson were discussing the deal. Johnson can be heard urging Swallow to get him his money back because the payments had not yielded help from Reid.

Reid has denied any knowledge of the deal, with his spokesman calling Johnson “a desperate individual who’s been indicted on over 80 counts.”

“His allegations are false and [are] the flailings of a desperate man,” the spokesman said.

Sammy Linebaugh (@SammyLinebaugh) is a freelance reporter based in Utah.

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