Laura Seitz, Deseret News
Jeremy Johnson

SALT LAKE CITY — St. George businessman Jeremy Johnson has filed a notice to appeal his recently reduced federal prison sentence — the second time he has looked to cut his time behind bars.

Last month, U.S. District Judge Dee Benson scaled back Johnson's original 135-month sentence to 87 months after the one-time multimillionaire appealed his 2016 conviction for crimes related to his internet marketing company, iWorks.

The 10th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld his conviction but sent the case back to the district court for a new sentence. A three-judge panel ruled that the trial judge, Judge David Nuffer, mistakenly enhanced Johnson's sentence under federal sentencing guidelines.

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Defense attorneys argued that without the sentence enhancement, Johnson would already be home and asked the judge to release him. He has already served about 2 1/2 years and is incarcerated in Safford, Arizona. But after Benson rejected their arguments they asked for 48 months.

Prosecutors contended that Johnson should serve still serve 135 months.

Benson said he lowered the sentence because Johnson took responsibility for his crime, showed some remorse and changed his attitude. Still, he chastised him for being "arrogant and cocky" in acting as his own lawyer during his trial.

A jury convicted Johnson of eight counts of making false statements but acquitted him of 78 counts of bank fraud, wire fraud and money laundering.