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From: StockDung5/29/2013 5:17:39 PM
   of 122017
 
Secret recording: Mark Shurtleff offers $2 million to silence critic
Scandal » Utah businessman says 2009 meeting with ex-A.G. was “like an episode in ‘Bizarro World.’ ”
By Robert Gehrke

| The Salt Lake Tribune



First Published May 23 2013 05:43 pm • Last Updated May 24 2013 09:51 am
On the breakfast table at Mimi’s Cafe, Darl McBride had eggs and potatoes served in a fried tortilla and an offer of $2 million from Utah’s then-attorney general, Mark Shurtleff, if he would just shut his mouth.

McBride says he had invested $286,000 with a prominent businessman, Mark Robbins, who had allegedly promised him a $5 million return that McBride hoped would sustain a grueling legal battle over intellectual-property rights between his company, The SCO Group, and IBM.





Published May 28, 2013


At a glance



Excerpts from recording of Shurtleff-McBride meeting

Mark Shurtleff: “Do you know this Marc Jenson?

Darl McBride: “I’ve heard the name.”

Shurtleff: “He left here [inaudible] supposedly sold his home, he had to do a bunch of stuff to pay his debts.”

McBride: [Inaudible].

Shurtleff: “I do think he is [good for it]. … I don’t believe Robbins has the money, but I believe Jenson does. … I’ve kind of got a weird relationship [with Jenson] because he is still under a plea-in-abeyance program. We put him on a three-year plea-in-abeyance. He’s got to pay the money back. If he does that, the charges will be dropped. [Inaudible] He’s got every motivation in the world.

-----

Shurtleff: [Once] you’ve got your money, you’ve got to promise us there can’t be anything else from you. It’s just straight up. … I can try [asking Jenson]. I’m going to shut down my team on him. … I’ve never in my 25 years of prosecuting ever prosecuted anybody who had more friends come to his rescue than this guy [Jenson] has. They’re coming in from all walks of life. Mission presidents in Korea saying basically he’s a good guy, it wasn’t his deal. You’re prosecuting the wrong guy. I hope if I ever get charges, I have that [kind of friends].”


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But, facing a bench warrant in a separate civil case, Robbins had vanished. McBride took his pursuit of Robbins to the Internet, setting up a website called Skyline Cowboy, a sort of virtual bounty-hunting operation aimed at flushing out Robbins.

So it was that McBride found himself sitting across from Shurtleff in May 2009, listening to the state’s chief law-enforcement officer trying to persuade him to ditch the website and offering to get McBride $2 million if he backed off Robbins.

McBride recorded the conversation and has turned over a copy to federal agents, part of a wide-ranging investigation into alleged misconduct in the attorney general’s office under Shurtleff and his successor, John Swallow.

"He [Robbins] is very concerned, because he can’t get any deals done because people go out and see that [website]," Shurtleff says on the recording, before launching into the pitch: "What can I do?"

McBride says he needs $2 million. Shurtleff replies that he doesn’t think Robbins has that kind of money, but he believes he can get it from one of Robbins’ associates — Marc Sessions Jenson. A year earlier, Shurtleff’s office had charged Jenson with six securities-related felonies, but the businessman was free at the time as a result of a plea deal struck with the attorney general’s office.

"I think he’d do it," Shurtleff says. "I’ve kind of got a weird relationship [with Jenson] because he is still under a plea-in-abeyance program. We put him on a three-year plea-in-abeyance. He’s got to pay the money back. If he does that, the charges will be dropped. … He’s got every motivation in the world."

Shurtleff then tells McBride that he soon will be flying to Southern California to see Jenson and will try to get the money.

McBride never heard back.


story continues below

story continues below




"It was like an episode in Bizarro World," McBride told The Salt Lake Tribune. "The top cop is out protecting the bad guy, and he’s saying we’ll get the other guy who could be going to prison to come up with the money. It’s like an unsolvable Rubik’s Cube."

Shurtleff declined to comment on the meeting and the events surrounding it.

Jenson, too, has told investigators of Shurtleff’s pitch, which he said in an interview at the Utah State Prison left him flabbergasted and feeling trapped.

"These aren’t play numbers. These aren’t make-believe. He asked me to pay $2 million for no reason," Jenson said. "I was shocked by it."

At the time, Jenson was supposed to be scraping together $4.1 million in restitution as part of his plea deal and protested that he didn’t have $2 million to spare. At the same time, he was under Shurtleff’s thumb.

For his part, Robbins insists he never owed McBride money — although court records show McBride won a $109,000 default judgment against Robbins’ wife in 2009.

Robbins also maintains he never asked Shurtleff to meet with McBride and only found out about the get-together long after it took place.

"If the meeting was on my behalf, it was without my knowledge," Robbins said. "I have never asked Mark Shurtleff, [or] John Swallow … to do anything for me nor have I ever donated to them, contributed anything to them, paid them or done any favors for them — not directly and not indirectly through anyone else."

McBride says he’d previously gone to Shurtleff to complain that Robbins — whom McBride met when he coached Robbins’ son in football — had taken his money, but never got a response. McBride went to the FBI, as well, but the agency said it was overwhelmed with white-collar investigations.

So McBride launched the Skyline Cowboy website.

Shortly after a news story ran about Robbins’ disappearance and his partnership with Terry Diehl in a development near a Utah Transit Authority FrontRunner stop, McBride says he started getting threatening calls from Tim Lawson, who told him he was phoning on Shurtleff’s behalf.

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To: StockDung who wrote (116434)5/30/2013 8:43:42 AM
From: scion
   of 122017
 
Anonymous Payment Schemes Thriving on Web

By NICOLE PERLROTH
Published: May 29, 2013
nytimes.com

SAN FRANCISCO — Eight years ago, Ernie Allen, the head of the International Center for Missing and Exploited Children, called the heads of major banks and credit card companies. Why, he wanted to know, were they letting child pornographers move illicit profits through their systems?

And so began a collaboration between his organization, major banks, credit card companies, Internet service providers, payment processors, and Internet companies like Google and Microsoft. They had hoped to follow the money and quash child pornography for good.

But at some point the money trail went cold. For the last year, Mr. Allen has been working with global law enforcement and financial leaders to find out why.

He may be getting closer to an answer. Today, cybersecurity experts say billions of dollars made from child pornography and illicit sales of things like national secrets and drugs are being moved through anonymous Internet payment systems like Liberty Reserve, the currency exchange whose operators were indicted Tuesday for laundering $6 billion. Preet Bharara, the United States attorney in Manhattan, described it as the largest online money-laundering case in history.

“What we have concluded is that illegal enterprises — commercial child pornography, human trafficking, drug trafficking, weapons trafficking and organized crime — has largely moved to an unregulated system that is not connected to any central bank or national authority,” Mr. Allen said. “The key to all of this has been anonymity.”

Liberty Reserve was shut down last weekend, but cybersecurity experts said it was just one among hundreds of anonymous Internet payment systems. They said online systems like the Moscow-based WebMoney, Perfect Money, based in Panama, and CashU, which serves the Middle East and North Africa, require little more than a valid e-mail address to initiate an account. The names and locations of the actual users are unknown and can be easily fabricated. And they worry that the no-questions-asked verification system has created a safe harbor for illicit activity.

“There are a multitude of anonymous payment systems out there, similar to Liberty Reserve, of which there are over one hundred,” said Tom Kellermann, a vice president at the security company Trend Micro. “Many pretend to ‘know your customer’ but do not actually do due diligence.”

Representatives for WebMoney, Perfect Money and CashU did not return e-mailed requests for comment.

Currency exchanges like Liberty Reserve do not take or make payments of actual cash directly. Instead, they work with third parties that take payments and, in turn, credit the Liberty Reserve account.

After the authorities went after Liberty Reserve, underground forums buzzed with comments from people mourning the potential loss of frozen funds and others offering alternatives, including Bitcoin, the peer-to-peer payment network started in 2009 to offer a decentralized way to create and transfer electronic cash around the world.

In closed underground Russian-language forums, one person wrote, “I had almost 6k there. Where to now?” Another suggested, “Maybe another alternative is Perfect Money? I wonder if Bitcoin exchange rate will go up or not.”

Indeed, the value of the Bitcoin virtual currency spiked temporarily on news of the Liberty Reserve shutdown. But law enforcement officials say Liberty Reserve operated with more anonymity than Bitcoin. Unlike Liberty Reserve and other anonymous payment systems, Bitcoin transactions are stored in a public ledger, called a block chain, that make it possible to trace Bitcoin transactions even years after the fact.

“You can track specific Bitcoin movements just as you would the serial number on a U.S. dollar,” said Jeff Garzik, a Bitcoin developer. The real concern, security experts say, are private payment services that claim to do due diligence, but do not do even the most basic verification.

Typically, money transfers are subject to strict regulation, which include maintaining customer identification records, filing suspicious activity reports, mandatory reporting on large currency transfers, and “know-your-customer requirements.” But security experts say there are a multitude of anonymous payment systems that require no customer identification and have little capability to detect or report suspicious activities.

“You would think they would be regulated but there is no regulation,” Mr. Kellermann said.

Of online payment processors, PayPal is considered the gold standard. The company, now owned by eBay, has payment experts to ensure PayPal is compliant with “know-your-customer” regulations and with law enforcement agencies in each country in which it operates.

“It’s unfortunate that as many of these new services come on board, it’s the people looking to abuse them who are the first to use them,” said Anuj Nayar, a spokesman at PayPal. “There’s a lot more than just having the right technology in place to be an efficient global payment processor.”

In March, the Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, or FinCen, began applying anti-money laundering rules to virtual currencies, amid worries that new forms of cash purchased on the Web, like Bitcoin, were being used to finance illicit enterprises.

While Bitcoin is just a software system, there are multiple gateways and exchange points that allow Bitcoin owners to exchange their Bitcoins for cash. Federal authorities recently seized accounts associated with a United States intermediary of Mt. Gox, the world’s largest Bitcoin exchange, because it was not FinCen compliant. That, and other exchanges in the United States are now racing to be fully compliant with “know-your-customer laws” and anti-money laundering requirements.

Mr. Allen said he believed that was a good first step.

“With anonymous payment systems, tracking has become virtually impossible,” he said. “How do you prevent these kinds of problems when you are dealing with an unregulated currency, monitored by nobody? The answer, I think, is there has to be some kind of structure.”

This article has been revised to reflect the following correction:

Correction: May 30, 2013

Because of an editing error, an earlier version of this article referred incorrectly to Bitcoin, a peer-to-peer payment network started in 2009. It was meant to offer a decentralized way to create and transfer electronic cash, not a centralized way.


nytimes.com

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From: StockDung5/30/2013 9:03:31 AM
   of 122017
 
Weekly note to Mark Harris: Still time to drop dime on Bryant Cragun money laundering. The DOJ may cop you a better deal if you out crooks you have delt with in the past. You ran Cragun's boiler Rooms and you have the goods regulators need. Just because Brent Baker did not care about Cragun's money laundering you can do something about it.

Face it Mark, you are facing 100 years in jail. Dime out everyone and be the first to squeel they may only give you 5 to 7 years.

While your at it brokeragte firms like World Trade Financial that where involved in you scheme need DOJ attention. You have the goods on them Mark. As you know FINRA stinks and as a matter of a fact just gave World Trade Financial a slap on the wrist for helping sell millions of shares of unregistered stock.

I can see your headlines now Mark: "Local idiot does good"

Good Luck to you CRIMM and becareful who you SLAPP!!

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From: scion5/30/2013 10:32:09 AM
   of 122017
 
Sen. Warren Asks SEC for Any Research on Benefits of 'No Admission' Settlements

Bruce Carton
May 30 2013
complianceweek.com

In February 2013, Sen. Elizabeth Warren ushered in her first hearing as a senator by asking the nation's seven top financial regulators, "How tough you are? .... Tell me a little bit about the last few times you've taken the biggest financial institutions on Wall Street all the way to a trial? As discussed here, none of the regulators testifying at the hearing could provide any information on when their agency had actually taken a large financial institution to trial.

At the hearing, new SEC Chair Elisse Walter began to testify about how the SEC "look[s] at the distinction between what we could get if we go to trial, and what we could get if we don't," but she was shut down by Sen. Warren who apparently did not want to get sidetracked. In a letter [ warren.senate.gov ] (via World of Securities Regulation) dated May 14, 2013, however, Sen. Warren asked White, as well as the heads of the Federal Reserve and the DOJ, to provide more information on this point. Reiterating her concern that a regulator that is unwilling to actually take large financial institutions to trial has far less leverage in settlement negotiations, Warren asked White, Ben Bernanke and Eric Holder to answer the following question:
“ Have you conducted any internal research or analysis on trade-offs to the public between settling an enforcement action without admission of guilt and going forward with litigation as necessary to obtain such admission and, if so, can you provide that analysis to my office?

Two weeks later, it does not appear that the SEC, Federal Reserve or DOJ have offered any public response to Sen. Warren, but I will keep an eye out for this.

complianceweek.com

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To: scion who wrote (116440)5/30/2013 10:35:00 AM
From: scion
   of 122017
 
Jim Hamilton’s World of Securities Regulation

Sunday, May 26, 2013
jimhamiltonblog.blogspot.co.uk

Senator Warren Asks SEC for Data on Settlement of Enforcement Actions
In a letter to SEC Chair Mary Jo White, Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), a key member of the Senate Banking Committee, asked for an analysis and/or internal research the Commission has done on trade-offs to the public between settling an enforcement action without admission of guilt and going forward with litigation necessary to obtaining such an admission.

In an earlier letter to U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, Senators Mark Warner (D-VA) and Robert Corker (R-TN), also key members of the Banking Committee, voiced their concern that the DOJ is restricting its enforcement actions based on the size of the culpable financial institution, that is to say that DOJ is indicating that large, complex financial institutions will escape prosecution because their size indicates that an enforcement action against them will negatively impact the U.S. economy. The Senators ask if it is the position of the DOJ that some financial institutions are large enough that their management is above prosecution in the case of a serious crime.

Posted by James Hamilton at 5/26/2013 09:08:00 AM

jimhamiltonblog.blogspot.co.uk

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From: scion5/31/2013 5:07:15 AM
   of 122017
 
Florida-Based Stock Promoter Charged with Lying to SEC Investigators

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
2013-96

Washington, D.C., May 30, 2013 — The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced that the subject of an enforcement inquiry in Florida has has been criminally charged for obstructing justice and lying to SEC investigators looking into his real estate securities offerings to investors.

Additional Materials
U.S. Attorney's Office Press Release
sec.gov

The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida has filed criminal charges against former broker and securities fraud recidivist Robert J. Vitale, who lives in Lauderdale-by-the Sea. According to the criminal information filed in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida, the SEC issued subpoenas to Vitale and his investment company Realty Acquisitions & Trust in order to identify investor funds and assets related to the securities offerings. The SEC investigators subpoenaed Vitale for all related bank records and took his sworn testimony.

The criminal information alleges that Vitale lied about the existence of two separate bank accounts that he did not disclose to the SEC. Specifically, Vitale deposited $100,000 into a bank account in Fort Lauderdale under the name of “B.L. Inc.” in the days preceding his testimony to SEC investigators in June 2012. Vitale then did not disclose the existence of the account to the SEC when asked under oath.

Vitale was previously charged by the SEC several years ago for participating in a pump-and-dump market manipulation scheme. Vitale later settled the charges in federal district court and was barred from the brokerage industry.

“Lying to SEC investigators undermines the very foundation of the public trust that investors place in our markets, and it violates criminal law as well,” said Andrew J. Ceresney, Co-Director of the SEC’s Division of Enforcement. “Those who obstruct SEC investigations should realize they will ultimately be held accountable by criminal authorities who work so closely with us to rid the markets of securities law violators, particularly repeat offenders like Vitale. The SEC greatly appreciates the persistence of the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the FBI in pursuing this case.”

The SEC appreciates the assistance of the Federal Bureau of Investigation along with the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida in this matter.

# # #

sec.gov

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From: StockDung5/31/2013 9:49:08 AM
   of 122017
 
Inmate claims Swallow knew about Shurtleff’s $2 million bribe

Updated: 5/30 11:15 am | Published: 5/30 10:58 am
Reported by: Cristina Rendon

Inmate claims Swallow knew about Shurtleff’s bribe

DRAPER, Utah (ABC 4 News) – The accusations keep pouring out from behind the walls of the Utah State Prison where inmate Marc Jenson said the former and current Attorney Generals of Utah tried to get $2 million dollars from him.

Jenson is in jail for a failing to pay $4 million in restitution and he faces a new set of fraud charges that were filed in August 2011.

Jenson met with ABC 4 Utah Reporter Cristina Rendon Wednesday at the Utah State Prison. An audio recording of the interview was allowed, but a video recording was not allowed.

Jenson said Shurtleff asked for the money in 2009 when he paid for Shurtleff and Swallow to visit his posh villa in Newport Beach, California.

“John Swallow was by Shurtleff’s side when Mark Shurtleff asked me for $2 million,” Jenson said. “Mark Shurtleff treated it as if he were asking for $2.”

Jenson claimed Shurtleff needed the money to take care of business with Darl McBride. McBride had invested money with prominent businessman Mark Robbins. After the deal went bad, McBride was pursuing Robbins to get his money back.

McBride said he previously recorded a conversation with Shurtleff offered him $2 million to back off of Robbins and claimed he could get the money from Jenson.

“I said, ‘Mark I cannot.’ First of all I don’t have the money and I cannot give $2 million to someone I don’t know.”

Jenson was a free man at the time after he struck a plea deal with the Attorney General’s Office of six charges of securities fraud filed in August 2005. He said he refused the money because he was in a plea-in-abeyance program and ordered to pay $4 million in restitution.

“Mark Shurtleff said ‘Well you’ve got protection in the AG’s office now’ and John Swallow, all he did was nod his head.”

Jenson said Swallow was confident at the time he would be the Utah’s next Attorney General.

After failing to pay the $4 million in restitution, Jenson was sentenced to prison in August 2011.

Mark Shurtleff has made no comment on the allegations.

A spokesman for the Attorney General’s Office released a statement. It reads:

“Mr. Swallow walled himself off of the Jenson investigation and prosecution in approximately June, 2011. Mr. Jenson is in prison serving his sentence and is being aggressively prosecuted by the Attorney General's Office on additional felony charges. Mr. Jenson is in prison for fraud and there is no reason to believe any of the outrageous claims he is now making especially since he had every opportunity to make them when he pleaded guilty and when he was sentenced.”

Jenson said the truth will come out.

“The truth is going to be a very very hard thing for certain people and it will be a very very good thing for me,” he added.

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To: straight-->arrow who wrote (116428)5/31/2013 11:43:35 AM
From: StockDung
   of 122017
 
Tiger Wood touts Diploma Milll Degree "Dr" R Steven Davidson's products.proprietary formulations as Fuse Science (otcbb: DROP) prepares to enter the sports nutrition and performance categories

Hilarious Cobert Zicam bit featuring "DR" R. Steven Davidson!!! The diploma mill guy
http://www.colbertnation.com/the-colbert-report-videos/231610/june-22-2009/zicam-recall --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Rob Davidson, the team's managing director, reported today that PDT Inc. has already completed work on three new industry standards and proprietary formulations as Fuse Science prepares to enter the sports nutrition and performance categories. These are:

EnerJel - For active muscle fatigue, a real time anti-inflammatory and energy source applied directly to the problem area to
help athletes finish the game

PowerDrops - Concentrated electrolyte delivery in a single drop before the game for stronger, sustained performance

EnergyDrops - An all-natural, faster-acting
energy source with longer-lasting results in a single drop

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From: StockDung6/1/2013 1:38:13 PM
   of 122017
 
Bre-X investors get chump change in final settlement

The Alberta court ruling brings to an end a saga that sparked 16 years of litigation after investors lost an estimated $3 billion.

(The Canadian Press) TORONTO — The lengthy battle by Bre-X Minerals Ltd. investors to recover billions in Canada’s largest mining fraud appears to be over in what one of the original plaintiff lawyers in the case called a “sad day” for accountability in Canada.

Under a settlement approved Thursday by the Alberta Court of Queens Bench, the remaining class-action suits were dismissed against the main defendants in the case, the estate of Bre-X’s late founder and CEO, David Walsh, and chief geologist John Felderhof.

The Calgary court made the ruling at the request of bankruptcy trustee Deloitte and Touche, which said there was no realistic prospect of realizing any significant recovery through the litigation and that the costs of proceeding were prohibitive.

As a result, all parties agreed to a payment of $5.2 million to be divided among investors who apply for a settlement.

Courts in Ontario and the Texas had earlier agreed to the settlement. The money will be divided between plaintiffs in the Ontario and Texas class actions on the basis of 67 per cent to the Ontario class and 33 per cent to the Texas class, Deloitte said in an emailed statement.

Bre-X became known as the largest mining fraud in Canadian history back in 1997 when its claim of a major gold discovery in Indonesia proved to be a fake.

Investors around the world lost an estimated $3 billion in the resulting collapse of the company’s share price.

Lawyer Clint Docken of Docken Klym, a law firm that represented a number of individual investors and originally led the case in Alberta, wasn’t happy with the outcome but agreed little more could be done.

“Unfortunately, things have languished and languished to the extent that recovery possibilities aren’t promising,” said Docken, who was in the Calgary court Thursday.

“It’s a sad day. . . . We have arguably Canada’s largest (ever) fraud and no accountability. There’s no criminal accountability, there’s no regulatory accountability and (now) there doesn’t appear to be any civil accountability.”

Docken said there remain a few plaintiffs in Ontario who were not part of the settlement, but said he didn’t know the status of those cases.

Deloitte and Touche was appointed as trustee in bankruptcy of Bre-X Minerals Ltd. by the Alberta court in November 1997 after the company was hit with several multibillion-dollar shareholder lawsuits.

The trustee sought to recover insider trading profits from several of Bre-X’s former executives in Ontario and an action was pursued in Alberta against Bre-X’s sister company, Bresea Resources Inc.

Cases was also pursued in the Cayman Islands, the Bahamas and Philippines and efforts were undertaken to recoup money that had been deposited in a Channel Island Trust.

But in the end, the action from 1998 through to 2011 recovered only $5 million from the Channel Island Trust and a further $2 million in the settlement of the action against Bresea.

With court approval, the funds were added to the cash on hand and used to fund ongoing recovery efforts. However, Deloitte said that by 2011 it had become apparent no further recoveries were possible.

Part of the reason was that funds frozen under various injunctions had been spent under the terms of those orders that permitted payment of the defendants’ living expenses and legal costs, Deloitte said at the time.

As well, one of the principal targets of the litigation, Bre-X’s geologist, John Felderhof, was acquitted after a lengthy Ontario Securities Commission trial. He was found not guilty of insider trading and misleading investors. He now lives in the Cayman Islands.

Bre-X CEO David Walsh died at his home in the Bahamas after suffering from a brain aneurysm. He was 52.

Read more at http://www.stockhouse.com/community-news/2013/may/31/bre-x-investors-get-chump-change-in-final-settleme.aspx#Hv4YjqJGPPgD5rVA.99

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From: StockDung6/1/2013 4:38:37 PM
   of 122017
 
Gary Weiss was right!!->Shurtleff tried to stifle news coverage

By paul rolly
| The Salt Lake Tribune
First Published Jun 01 2013 01:01 am • Last Updated Jun 01 2013 01:01 am

Former Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff, whose questionable connections to multi-level marketing and pay-day lending firms have become a daily soap opera in the news, tried mightily to control coverage of his dealings during his 12-year stint as the AG.

Shurtleff, who flirted with the idea of running for the U.S. Senate in 2010, was one of the most aggressive politicians in memory when it came to trying either to intimidate or punish reporters he felt covered his office unfairly.


Shurtleff and his press officer visited The Salt Lake Tribune on several occasions to complain to the editor about the coverage of certain reporters, especially when the stories detailed campaign contributions he received from corporations either under investigation or at least suspicion.

He cut off communications with Salt Lake City Weekly because of aggressive coverage by that publication of his relationship with multi-level marketing and pay-day lending companies.

He once refused to talk to me for a time because I had described him as a former voucher supporter during the time in 2007 that petitioners successfully pushed for a referendum to repeal the Legislature’s law giving tuition tax credits to parents who enrolled their children in private schools.

He took umbrage at being called a voucher supporter after it had been reported that he had accepted hefty campaign contributions from
Overstock.com,
the most visible supporter of vouchers in Utah, and had a relationship with another voucher supporter, Rick Koerber, who had been indicted by the U.S Attorney’s Office on fraud-related charges.

That indictment came after Utah Commerce Department Director Francine Giani became frustrated with Shurtleff’s failure to file state charges against Koerber so she turned her department’s investigative findings over to the feds.

At the time of the referendum petition drive, Shurtleff removed the title of assistant attorney general from two lawyers for the State Department of Education because they disagreed with his legal assessment that the petition itself was not valid. The Utah Supreme Court eventually agreed with the two blackballed attorneys.

But Shurtleff’s rebuff of me was mild compared to his rage against other reporters. He tried to go over the head of Tribune reporters who wrote about contributions to his campaign from a law firm he had awarded a state contract and which had hired his daughter.

He objected to stories about his hyping of Usana Health Sciences on a YouTube video and writing a letter promoting the educational software firm, Digital Bridge. The company, which had given Shurtleff a $10,000 campaign donation, later filed for bankruptcy after signing a state contract, stiffing the State Office of Education for about $3 million.

s

He reacted by refusing to talk to certain reporters when they sought routine information about investigations or other stories involving the AG’s office.

He harbored particular ire for City Weekly, which over the years has published several investigative pieces detailing campaign contributions to Shurtleff from the types of companies most vulnerable to regulatory scrutiny, like multi-level marketing firms and pay-day lenders.

He even complained to U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder about then U.S. Attorney for Utah Brett Tolman, claiming Tolman was hogging most of the high-profile cases against Internet child predators and not giving Shurtleff enough credit for prosecutions resulting from a joint task force between the two offices.

Shurtleff fought for more than a year to keep the letter secret, spending thousands of dollars of taxpayers’ money on the effort.


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