Utah weather for
the afternoon of December 12, 2013: Temperatures are already a little
warmer than yesterday...but still freezing. Air Quality is getting worse
across the Wasatch Front with valley inversions in place.
for the Wasatch Front: Today: Hazy & high twenties for the valleys.
Mountains will be crystal clear and in the thirties. Tonight: Lows in
the teens with increasing clouds.
Court Documents Show Close Ties Between Lawson, Shurtleff and Swallow
(KUTV) The first charges stemming from the investigation into the attorney general's office were filed Thursday. 45-year-old Tim Lawson of Utah County was booked into jail on multiple felonies. He remains in jail on $250,000 bond.
While the charges are against one man only, what is striking after reading the charging documents is how closely tied—John Swallow, Mark Shurtleff and Tim Lawson allegedly were.
In this filing Kirk Torgenson, Chief Deputy of the Criminal Division of the AG's office is quoted as saying "Lawson is the guy that is going to bring the house of cards down." Torgenson said that he "went to Shurtleff and said Lawson is saying that he is representing the AG's office and this is inappropriate," The behavior however continued.
Salt Lake District Attorney Sim Gill states clearly that the charges only involve Lawson, but the joint investigation into Shurtleff and Swallow continues. Lawson is charged on six counts including tax evasion, retaliation against a witness or informant, and obstruction of justice. According to Gill, "Mr. Lawson represented himself as having access to Mr. Shurtleff and the Attorney General's office." That-- is the crux of this case. Tim Lawson was known as the "fixer" or the middle man for then Attorney General Mark Shurtleff.
In 2008 Lawson allegedly met Marc Jenson who was charged with securities fraud. Lawson according to the charges wrote up a plea deal behind the backs of the prosecutors and went directly to attorney general Mark Shurtleff who presented that deal to the judge. The judge decided the plea deal was to light on restitution and made some changes.
Lawson according to court filings was paid well by Jenson. Jenson transferred $120,000 dollars to him in 18 separate payments. One " payment of $6,190 to arrange a trip for Mark Shurtleff and John Swallow to Pelican Hill a high end resort in California."
That trip included Lawson and his wife, Mark Shurtleff, John Swallow and his wife. Jenson who was on probation after his alleged AG brokered plea deal was there too and picked up the tab for "massages, golf, food, and clothing."
During another alleged incident Lawson threatened Utah businessman Darl McBride saying he had to take down a website going after an associate of Jensen.
Lawson claimed he was like "Porter Rockwell" and took care of things for the Attorney General Mark Shurtleff. Charging documents say Lawson claimed he had "guns and 'Polynesian friends' who liked to 'bust people up'."
Shurtleff did not respond to our calls and e-mails for a response Thursday. Swallow's attorney said there is nothing in these documents that suggests his client did anything illegal. Interestingly enough the information filed shows that Swallow and Lawson were pretty tight. They had an ongoing text and phone relationship with more than 600 contacts talking about holiday plans, wire taps and the FBIi investigation.
Police Investigate Lawson's Home Looking for Evidence
(KUTV) The man widely regarded by some as the personal "fixer" for former Attorney General Mark Shurtleff, was arrested Wednesday at his spacious home in Provo, Utah.
A joint investigation by prosecutors in Davis and Salt Lake Counties concluded with charges against Timothy Lawson. Lawson is accused of avoiding paying taxes on money he received from a business associate to continue trying to influence Shurtleff while he was in office, say charging documents. He is also accused of threatening people who were doing business with jailed businessman Marc Jenson.
Thursday night, about a dozen agents from the FBI and the Utah Department of Public Safety, swarmed around Lawson's home after arresting him and serving a search warrant. Agents could be seen from the street looking through documents and records inside Lawson's home.
They left just after 6PM with several boxes and bags of records.
(KUTV) A Utah man has created a hobby business by coining a digital currency in his basement, and the feds have taken notice.
Mike Caldwell gave a face to the world's most popular digital currency, Bitcoin. Caldwell fixes tiny random numeric codes onto small tokens he orders by the box-full. He matches that numeric code to Bitcoin amounts, that people email him from all over the world - people who like the novelty of a coin that represents a faceless digital currency.
"Think of me sitting in a hobby craft room doing some sort of hobby craft, because that's really what it was," says Caldwell. "When I first started doing this, the idea that Bitcoins were money was laughable; it might as well have been Star Trek money. The whole idea that this would be considered as legitimate money was pure fantasy."
Today, one digital Bitcoin is worth $861. Having a physical representation of that worth, has become a booming business.
"It sounds crazy, but the truth of the matter is that people have an interest in collecting these," says Caldwell.
Recently, he got a letter from the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, a federal agency telling him he needs to submit to government regulations for transferring money.
"At some point between September 2011 and today, someone has changed their mind and decided, 'nah, we want you to register'," says Caldwell.
For now, Mike has stopped taking orders for his Bitcoin coin-minting business. He's looking into other ways to promote his interest in digital currency.
"It is difficult to understand and the more everyone understands it, that raises the demand for [Bitcoins] all across the board," he says.
Utah Man Sells Michael Jordan's "Flu Game" Shoes for $104k
(KUTV) Preston Truman expected the pair of Michael Jordan shoes he put up for auction would sell for 20-30 thousand dollars at auction.
Late Wednesday, the last day of bidding, he went to bed and noticed the final bid was up to 72 thousand dollars. When he woke up, he was shocked to learn that the final bid reached over $104,000. "I woke up to calls from ESPN and some radio station," she said of the attention he's received since the shoes sold to an anonymous bidder. The sale was a record-breaking bid for sports shoes.
The shoes are valuable because they were worn by Jordan during game 5 of the 1997 NBA finals. On that night, Jordan, who had a serious case of the flu, played a great game a helped the bulls beat the Jazz. Truman was 19-years-old and a Jazz ball boy. He'd met Jordan before and learned that he always had apple sauce before the game. When Jordan arrived for the big game, Truman had the apple sauce waiting for him in the locker room. After the game, as Jordan lay sick in the locker room, the ball boy asked Jordan if he could have the shoes. He said yes and offered to sign them later. The rest is history.
Truman said he will enjoy the earnings and use them to pay down debts and replenish his 401k. He will mostly treasure the memories of his brush with basketball greatness. "The whole thing is crazy to me and my family. I've been a big Michael Jordan fan since I was 8-years-old. I still have every one of his posters," he said.
(KUTV) We love it when the community decides to get involved to help angels who might not have a Christmas this year.
This isn't the typical party George Papadopoulous throws for his employees, this year George, who owns European Tan, wanted to do something a little bit different. So he and his employees went to adopt angels from the Angel Tree at Shopko.
He says it's hard to think about not getting involved after reading some of the cards.
Employees got into the act as well, proud to work for a place that looks out for the less fortunate.
It's a new tradition for this company that stems from an ancient teaching.
Time is running out to help make these Christmas wishes come true.
You need to pick an angel's name and have the gifts returned by this Saturday.
You can find angel trees at selected Shopko stores and Cyprus Credit Unions. You can also go to The Leonardo museum.
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Two Utah prosecutors have filed six felony charges of bribery, witness tampering, obstructing justice and other accounts against a longtime associate of former Attorney General Mark Shurtleff.
Utah County Sheriff's spokesman Sgt. Spencer Cannon says 49-year-old Timothy William Lawson was booked into the Utah County Jail on Thursday afternoon. He's being held on $250,000 bail.
In court documents, prosecutors say Lawson say the man represented himself as a close friend of Shurtleff.
Prosecutors say a businessman convicted of fraud, Marc Jenson, paid Lawson about $120,000 to gain access to Shurtleff and influence witnesses and victims in criminal cases against Jenson.
Phone messages left with Shurtleff and his attorney Max Wheeler were not immediately returned.
It was not immediately clear whether Lawson had an attorney.
MICHELLE L. PRICE, Associated Press
Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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