SALT LAKE CITY — Attorneys for imprisoned businessman Marc Sessions Jenson want a judge to tell the Utah Attorney General's Office to stay away from him, his family and others.
Defense lawyer Marcus Mumford filed a request for a protective order in 3rd District Court Friday, claiming a "history of threatening and/or suspicious behavior" associated with the office, including Attorney General John Swallow and former Attorney General Mark Shurtleff.
Mumford claims that the behavior has increased since he filed a motion to disqualify the attorney general's office from prosecuting Jenson.
The protective order request includes sworn declarations from Jenson's wife, Stori Jenson, his former employee Paul Nelson and Bret Rawson, one of his attorneys.
Nelson claims Shurtleff tried to call him and that he has received calls from "unknown" or "blocked" numbers since the motion to disqualify the attorney general's office was filed two weeks ago. As part of that motion, Nelson described what he saw as inappropriate conduct by Shurtleff and Swallow.
Stori Jenson says she also has received such calls, which "has been distressing to me and my family, as we currently live without my husband, who is in custody."
In his declaration, Rawson describes a "threatening" phone call he received June 22 from chief deputy attorney general Kirk Torgensen. Rawson said Torgensen told him lawyers representing Jenson "needed to be careful."
Rawson said Torgensen told him he's "generally disgusted" with Swallow, and that he and fellow prosecutor Scott Reed are not complicit in any of Swallow's alleged wrongdoing.
Torgensen said last week that he didn't make any threats. He said he has known Rawson for years and called because prosecutors in the Jenson case are being unfairly maligned. He said he was just talking to a friend.
Prosecutors charged Jenson and his brother Stephen R. Jenson with felony communications fraud and money laundering in connection with a failed multibillion-dollar luxury resort project in Beaver County.
A one-time wealthy businessman, Jenson claims Swallow and Shurtleff shook him down during all-expenses-paid visits to his Southern California villa. He also accused Swallow of securing a "quid pro quo" agreement from him for a $1 million lot in the planned members-only resort development known as Mount Holly.
Swallow, a private attorney during his interactions with Jenson, and Shurtleff have denied the allegations.
Jenson is serving a 10-year prison term for failing to pay a $4.1 million restitution in an earlier criminal case in which he pleaded no contest to selling unregistered securities. Prison officials recently moved him to the Davis County Jail for his own protection, according to his attorneys.
Email: [email protected]
Twitter: dennisromboy; DNewsCrimeTeam