Jeremy Johnson could face up to 33 years in prison, feds say

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SALT LAKE CITY — In a new court filing, federal prosecutors said a judge could sentence Jeremy Johnson to as much as 33 years in prison.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office told the judge he should consider a sentencing recommendation of 324 to 405 months in federal prison for Johnson, and 188 to 235 months for his co-defendant, Ryan Riddle.

“The United States will make recommendations that the Court order a downward departure from these guideline ranges. However, the United States requests that it be permitted to reserve its final sentencing recommendation until after the completion of the PreSentence Report at the time of the sentencing hearing,” assistant U.S. Attorney Rob Lunnen wrote in the filing.

Both Johnson and Riddle will have a chance to respond before the judge imposes a sentence at a June hearing.

Johnson and Riddle were convicted of making false statements to a bank after a trial that lasted weeks. The men were convicted in a fraud case where they were accused of running shell companies to handle “charge backs” for credit card payments from his company, iWorks. Federal prosecutors accused the men of doing it because banks had flagged them on a list of merchants not to do business with.

The jury acquitted Johnson and Riddle of the majority of charges.

Johnson is a key witness in the corruption case against former Utah Attorneys General John Swallow and Mark Shurtleff. In 2013, he claimed Swallow was going to bribe then-Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nevada, on his behalf. The accusations sparked a wide-ranging probe that led to the criminal cases against Swallow and his predecessor, Mark Shurtleff. The former attorneys general are now accused of soliciting gifts and donations from people facing investigation by their office.

Shurtleff and Swallow have denied any wrongdoing.

Read the government sentencing recommendation here: