Swallow campaign hid donations from IRS, new search warrants show

Published: Thursday, Jan. 2 2014 2:45 p.m. MST

The warrants also contain an email string between Crossley and several Swallow campaign staffers that refers to "feedings" the campaign held for state GOP delegates. Candidates typically invite delegates to breakfast or lunch meetings to pitch their platforms as part of Utah's unique caucus and convention system for selecting party nominees.

"Feedings? Is this like a delegates are deer and John (Swallow) is a salt lick kind of thing?" Jason Powers' brother and Guidant Strategies consultant Greg Powers writes.

"I was thinking more goats and a tin can," Crossley replies.

Crossely goes on to write: "77 graced us with their presence yesterday including the infamous cross dresser!"

Staffer Renae Cowley replies: "I'm still waiting for a picture of the tranny!"

Crossley writes, "I offered you a picture of that thing while it was next to me! You declined."

Replies Cowley, "No I didn't, I just said not an 'up the skirt' shot."

The seven search warrants, signed Dec. 11 by 3rd District Judge Vernice Trease, were served to several Internet and cellphone providers for accounts used by Swallow, Jason Powers, campaign staffers and Tim Lawson, a close friend of Shurtleff who faces felony charges of tax evasion, obstruction of justice and witness tampering.

Scott Nesbitt, an investigator with the Utah Department of Public Safety, requested the warrants as part of an ongoing criminal investigation headed by Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill and Davis County Attorney Troy Rawlings.

Gill said the search warrants speak for themselves. He estimated that investigators, including the FBI, are about halfway through the investigation. There's a lot of information to digest, he said.

"We will be thorough and will let the evidence take us where it needs to go," Gill said.

Swallow and Shurtleff have steadfastly denied any wrongdoing. Calls and emails to their lawyers Thursday were not returned.

Email: romboy@deseretnews.com, Twitter: dennisromboy; DNewsPolitics

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