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Utah: Get Out of Jail Free Card for Accused Mormon Fraudster
Jeremy Johnson was just released from a Utah jail by a Federal Magistrate:
"Johnson, 35, has been incarcerated since he was arrested at a Phoenix airport June 11. He was carrying more than $26,000 in cash and a one-way plane ticket to Costa Rica.
(Magistrate) Nuffer had previously refused to release Johnson citing concerns over his pilot's license, extensive international contacts and access to large sums of cash." (Source)
According to a receivership report filed with the court:
1. Jeremy Johnson's companies grossed $332.5 million dollars through a varietry of shell companies and billing scams. He reportedly netted $59 million dollars.
2. According to the BBB (which gave him an F rating):
On December 22, 2010 the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced a lawsuit has been filed against I Works in the US District Court for the District of Nevada. The FTC has charged the defendants with violating the FTC Act by misrepresenting that government grants are available for paying personal expenses, that consumers are likely to obtain grants by using the defendants' program, that users of their money-making products will earn substantial income, and that their offers are free or risk-free.
The complaint also alleges that defendants failed to disclose that consumers who pay a nominal shipping and handling fee will be enrolled in expensive plans that charge consumers fees until they cancel, and that the defendants charged consumers' credit cards and debited their bank accounts without their consent. In addition, the FTC alleges that defendants posed as ordinary consumers and posted deceptive positive reviews and used deceptive testimonials that misrepresented the benefits of their grant services. Finally, the FTC has charged the defendants with violating the Electronic Fund Transfer Act and Regulation E by debiting consumers' bank accounts without their signed written consent and without providing consumers with a copy of the written authorization. (Source)
One would think that the State Attorney General of Utah would be all over this, since Johnson's companies were based out of Saint George, Utah. Johnson, however, had a clean Bill of Health from Mark Shurtleff's office and even donated $50,000 to the AG after a few "problems" were cleared up to Johnson's satisfaction.
Johnson's associates put up 2.8 million in real-estate, to guarantee that he would not go out and buy another one-way ticket to Costa Rica, or use his Pilot's license to flee the country. It doesn't take a math whiz to figure out the odds of a guy who netted $59 million dollars, from walking away from a 2.8 million flight-risk guarantee.
Johnson faces up to 20 years in prison for just the few charges he now faces, and the prosecutors in this case are just getting warmed up.
According to the Receiver Report, Johnson also paid 1.5 million dollars for precious metals. Gold has gone up 600% since 2000 and silver has appreciated over 1,000 percent. The possibility exists that his precious metals are now worth 15 million dollars, more than enough to live in Costa Rica, or anywhere else he decides to go.
He also donated 1.5 million dollars to the Mormon Church. Apparently, he also helped the Church's humanitarian relief efforts in Haiti. Being connected to both the Church and State in Mormon, Utah, doesn't appear to have hurt Jeremy Johnson at all. Hopefully, when the man jumps bail and ends up on a little island outside of U.S. jurisdiction, the FBI will request any and all communications Jeremy Johnson had with the Leaders of the LDS Church and Attorney General Mark Shurtleff.