STGnews Exclusive: Jeremy Johnson reacts to jury verdict

Jeremy Johnson | AP file photo, St. George News

ST. GEORGE – Although planning to file an appeal in the matter, St. George businessman Jeremy Johnson said Friday he is pleased with the jury verdict handed down in Salt Lake City’s federal court Friday morning following a six-week criminal trial that centered on allegations of bank fraud.

“I am pleased with the verdict,” Johnson told St. George News, “and I feel that the jury did the best that they could with the evidence they were allowed to see and how they were instructed to apply the law.”

After acting as his own attorney during the trial, Johnson said he considers today a victory.

“The government was handed a stunning defeat today as the jury found us not guilty on all charges of fraud and any charge where intent was a factor,” he said.

Of the 86 charges filed against the online entrepreneur, the jury of nine men and three women found Johnson guilty on only a handful of charges: eight counts of making false statements to a bank.

The jury returned a verdict of not guilty on 78 charges, including one count of conspiracy, two counts of making false statements to a bank, 13 counts of bank fraud, 23 counts of wire fraud, nine counts of participating in fraudulent banking activities, two counts of conspiracy to commit money laundering and 30 counts of money laundering.

READ MOREJury reaches verdict in Jeremy Johnson bank fraud trial

Johnson said he was not surprised by the jury’s verdict, adding that if the jury had been allowed to have all of the evidence in the case, they would have found him not guilty on all charges.

When asked if he felt like he received a fair trial, Johnson said: “I do not believe the trial was fair as the jury was kept from hearing the evidence and testimony that would have shown no false statements were made to any bank.”

Johnson said the charge of making false statements to a bank that he was convicted of Friday morning does not require intent or that he even made any false statement, just that he knew or should have known a false statement was made.

The problem with that, Johnson said, is that no false statements were made.

“The merchant applications the jury relied on were not bank applications as the government argued they were,” Johnson said.

Witnesses from the bank were prepared to testify that what the government had portrayed during the trial as bank applications were not actual bank applications, he said, and that there were no false statements on the applications.

“The government was successful in keeping them from testifying,” Johnson said. “They were also successful in keeping the recordings of the bank conversations from the jury as well.”

Johnson referred specifically to a transcript of an audio conversation (Exhibit 1) Johnson had with Wells Fargo representatives several years ago asking about the applications.

“This was evidence the government was able to keep from the jury … ,” Johnson said. “The truth is that we filled out everything on the application just as we were instructed by Cardflex and as you can see the bank confirms that it’s not a bank application.”

Meaning, Johnson said, no false statement to the bank. Johnson said he plans to appeal the conviction.

When asked what it was like representing himself in federal court, Johnson said: “ … It was hell and I would never recommend that someone represent themselves when they have the ability to have a good attorney represent them.”

Resources

  • Exhibit 1 – transcript of audio conversation with Wells Fargo Bank

Email: kscott@stgnews.com

Twitter: @STGnews

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2016, all rights reserved.

Free News Delivery by Email

Would you like to have the day's news stories delivered right to your inbox every evening? Enter your email below to start!

5 Comments

  • Bender March 26, 2016 at 9:54 am

    Still a con man. Still has other legal proceedings pending. Still sullied the reputation of the St. George business community and inspired a raft of other rip-off companies. Still stole close to a billion dollars from clueless consumers. Still a punk.

    • Brian March 28, 2016 at 3:26 pm

      Agreed. These businesses were horrible. I’ve heard their people on and off the phone, behind the scenes, and they were expert at extracting financial information from people. If the customer (target, victim, sucker) had $3,500 available across all credit cards, that was the price (for a bunch of garbage and talk that had zero chance of helping them succeed). If the person had $12,000 available, THAT was the price for the exact same garbage. It was a game for them. They were destroying peoples lives and preying on their hopes. And their business names and merchant accounts were as disposable as their customers: as soon as one would get shut down, they’d open another one, under a different name, using someone else as the primary contact. Name me one legitimate, legal, ethical business that has to burn through 281 merchant accounts because the others got shut down. But people around here think he’s an angel in a helicopter. If I steal $300,000,000+ from people I could do “service” using my helicopter, too. It’s all part of the con.

  • JASOND March 26, 2016 at 12:53 pm

    Didn’t the federal government seize and auction off Jeremy’s property? What happened to innocent until proven guilty. It will be interesting to see what happens next. I don’t believe 8 counts of making false statements to a bank should result in forfeiture your property.

    • JASOND March 26, 2016 at 12:56 pm

      should result in the forfeiture of your property.

    • Bender March 26, 2016 at 2:41 pm

      Different legal action by the federal trade commission.

Leave a Reply