Swallow, Shurtleff used jet, houseboat, Ferrari of indicted businessman

Investigators seized $10K in cash from Swallow's Sandy home

Published: Monday, June 23 2014 12:25 p.m. MDT

Local and federal authorities search the home of former Utah Attorney General John Swallow in Sandy on June 2, 2014. More than $10,000 in cash, among dozens of other items, was seized during the search. Agents also served a search warrant on former Attorney General Mark Shurtleff's Sandy home.

Scott G Winterton, Deseret News

SALT LAKE CITY — Former Utah Attorney General John Swallow drove indicted businessman Jeremy Johnson's Ferrari and used his luxury houseboat and his predecessor, Mark Shurtleff, used Johnson's private jet to pick up a celebrity.

Those allegations are documented in search warrants released Monday in 3rd District Court.

Journals, flash drives, iPads, iPods and cellphones were just some of the items seized during searches earlier this month at the homes of the two former Utah attorneys general as part of a criminal investigation.

At Swallow's home, investigators also seized more than $10,000 in cash.

The search warrants were served June 2 on the Sandy homes of Swallow and Shurtleff and the Salt Lake condominium of Renae Cowley, a former Swallow campaign staffer who now works as a Salt Lake lobbyist.

Shurtleff and Swallow are being investigated by Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill and Davis County Attorney Troy Rawlings. The FBI and Utah Department of Public Safety, which helped execute the warrants, were ordered to seize any evidence that could have been used for the crimes of failing to disclose conflict of interest, bribery, tampering with evidence, money laundering, falsifying government records and using position to secure privileges or exemptions, according to court documents.

Some of those allegations center around Swallow and Shurtleff's relationship with Johnson, a St. George businessman who is named in an 86-count federal indictment alleging fraud in connection with Johnson's online business, iWorks.

According to the search warrant affidavit on Shurtleff, in one incident Johnson flew Shurtleff on his private jet to a fundraiser in California. In another, he used Johnson's plane to fly to New York to pick up an actor from the TV show "Law & Order." Pictures of Johnson and Shurtleff sitting together in Johnson's yellow Lamborghini can be found on the Internet, the affidavit states.

Swallow used Johnson's luxury houseboat and Ferrari on several occasions while he was chief deputy in the attorney general's office, the warrant states. At least one of Johnson's houseboats was so large that it included a helicopter pad.

According to the return on the search warrant for Swallow's residence, 37 items were seized as potential evidence, including flash drives, several journals including one with a picture of Jesus on the front cover, cameras, financial documents, an iPad, iPod and more than $10,000 in cash.

The warrant doesn't indicate where the money was found at Swallow's home, but separately lists three different sums of cash that were seized: $5,500, $2,300 and $2,400.

"As I understand it, the cash was kept on hand for emergencies and had been for several years," said Swallow's attorney, Rod Snow.

Thirty-two potential items of evidence were seized from Shurtleff's house, including numerous thumb drives, a hard drive, CDs, several laptops and financial documents.

Twelve items were seized from Cowley's residence, including a laptop, a couple of cellphones, a plane ticket and undisclosed paperwork.

Photographs taken by investigators at the homes of Swallow and Shurtleff were included in the search warrant returns.

Shurtleff, who was in Washington, D.C., when the warrant on his home was served, angrily accused investigators of using "Dirty Harry" tactics and traumatizing his teenage daughter. He said his 17-year-old daughter was in the bathroom when agents entered his house and ordered her out with her hands up while four agents wearing body armor pointed guns at her, including one who had a laser sight trained on her chest.

Email: preavy@deseretnews.com

Twitter: DNewsCrimeTeam

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