SALT LAKE CITY — A judge denied the Federal Trade Commission's request for a stay in its case against St. George businessman Jeremy Johnson on Thursday.

U.S. District Judge Miranda Du wrote even a short stay could set the case back a few months.

"Further delay would work to prejudice the defendants, as well as consumers whose interest the FTC seeks to protect," Du said.

The FTC sought to postpone the court proceedings because of the government shutdown. Johnson and attorneys representing other defendants in the case objected to the stay.

Federal regulators accuse Johnson of bilking millions of dollars from consumers through his online marketing company iWorks. The FTC filed a civil complaint against him and several associates in federal court in Las Vegas nearly three years ago.