Defendant testifies that former Utah AG told him to see family friend for help on case

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SALT LAKE CITY — A defendant in a high-profile fraud case has testified about his dealings with former Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff.

Marc Jenson told a 3rd District Court jury in Salt Lake City late Friday that Shurtleff told him he could resolve a separate criminal case brought against him by the state by contacting Tim Lawson, a family friend of Shurtleff.

"He told me, 'The way you are going to resolve this case is not through your lawyers," Jensen testified. "He told me, 'The way you are going to resolve this is through Tim Lawson. Make sure you take care of him."

A tearful Jenson said he gave Lawson, who had described himself as Shurtleff's "enforcer," a check for $5,000 or $10,000 the day after his May 2008 telephone conversation with Shurtleff, The Salt Lake Tribune reported (http://bit.ly/1D4r2s6 ).

Jenson resolved the securities fraud case a year later through a plea in abeyance, and did not go to prison until 2011 after failing to pay some $4 million in restitution. He is serving a 10-year prison sentence in that case.

Shurtleff declined comment on the testimony.

Jenson, 54, now faces charges of fraud and money laundering in a failed ski and golf resort development. The case was filed by the Utah attorney general's office in 2011, when Shurtleff was still at the helm.

Jenson's testimony Friday revived earlier allegations he made against Shurtleff and his successor, John Swallow, both of whom were charged in July with bribery and other counts. Both men are accused of accepting gifts and money from several businessmen including Jenson. Shurtleff and Swallow deny any wrongdoing.

Jenson's defense attorney, Marcus Mumford, contends the current case is payback for Jenson's refusal to bend to demands from the two former attorneys general for money and favors.

Lawson was later charged with six felonies accusing him of trading on his friendship with Shurtleff.

Jenson is scheduled to resume his testimony Tuesday.


Information from: The Salt Lake Tribune, http://www.sltrib.com

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