Jeremy Johnson who almost beat all federal charges against him this past year may still be going to jail. The figure at the center of allegations against John Swallow took the stand on Wednesday but would not testify.
“I understand it’s in my best interest not to answer questions,” said Jeremy Johnson, handcuffed, and dressed in a white shirt, khaki pants, and tie.
His response came after he met with his lawyers, who earlier had tried to keep him out of the courtroom, concerned his words could be used against him by federal prosecutors.
“The federal government is proceeding against him with a vengeance,” said Mary Corporon, lawyer for Johnson. “Any grant of immunity is meaningless in this matter.”
Years ago, Johnson asserted Swallow tried to help broker an arrangement, in which Johnson would pay hundreds of thousands of dollars through a middle man to former U.S. Senator Harry Reid, D-Nevada, a claim that first triggered questions, and ultimately several investigations into Swallow and former AG Mark Shurtleff.
The money was allegedly to help Johnson fend off an inquiry into one of his companies, which had received numerous complaints from customers, and also had led to suspicion by Utah Consumer Protection officials.
At least one past immunity deal for Johnson has not been honored by the federal government, said Corporon.
Karra Porter, an attorney who also represents the imprisoned former businessman and philanthropist, told him it was not a good idea to be “within a mile” of federal agents.