There was a time when John Swallow was Utah’s top cop. As the state’s attorney general, his job was to uphold the law and protect the people of Utah. But less than one year into his term, Swallow found himself on the wrong side of the law. Swallow and his predecessor Mark Shurtleff became the subject of a 2-year investigation, which led to bribery and various corruption charges against both men. But when the facts were presented in a trial that lasted approximately 4 weeks, a Salt Lake City jury acquitted Swallow of 8 felony charges and a misdemeanor that ranged from soliciting or receiving a bribe to obstruct justice in a Salt Lake City courtroom. The charges against Shurtleff were dismissed back in July of 2016.
The Complex Nature of White Collar Crimes
The relationship between Swallow and Shurtleff goes back many years. Shurtleff served 12 years as Utah attorney general. During that time, he selected Swallow as his chief deputy. After succeeding Shurtleff as attorney general, Swallow resigned following the bribery and corruption allegations. But the nature of the white collar crime charges proved to be very complex for the prosecution to prove. Salt Lake County District County Attorney Slim Gill expressed his frustration to the Deseret News.
“In some cases, jurors are asked to make simple assessments akin to black vs. white,” Gill said. “In other cases, however, jurors are asked to consider matters involving various shades of gray, where the right answer may be difficult to find but where the prosecutors must nonetheless find their probable cause and follow the facts to wherever they lead. This case fell squarely into the latter category.”
The trial did not lack in dramatics. The case was considered by many as the biggest political scandal in state history. Over the last two and a half years, several probes and investigations were conducted by the the Utah House of Representatives, the lieutenant governor’s office, the attorney general’s office along with federal and state criminal agencies. The jury consisted of five men and three women and along with Third District Judge Elizabeth Hruby-Mills sat through the testimony of 30 witnesses and sorted through 150 pieces of evidence.
According to Swallow’s criminal defense attorney Scott Williams, the prosecution’s case was built on a “house of cards”. During the end of the trial, Williams had an emotional Swallow stand next to him and face the jury “John Swallow did not commit a crime,” Williams said. “This is not politics.”
Why You Need a Salt Lake City White Collar Crimes Attorney
There is a perception that white collar crimes receive lighter punishment than other criminal offenses, such as violent crimes and drug crimes. That is not always the case. In addition to harsh penalties, those accused of white collar crimes face the risk of permanent damage to their reputation along with spending significant time behind bars.
It is vital to have a criminal defense attorney on your side with a track record of protecting the rights of clients and looking out for their best interest. For more than 25 years, Salt Lake City white collar crimes attorney David Paul White has successfully represented men and women charged with various forms of white collar crimes. He and his legal staff work diligently both in the courtroom and behind the scenes to help place each client in the best position to succeed. To learn more on how a Salt Lake City white collar crimes attorney can help, contact the Law Offices of David Paul White & Associates and schedule a consultation to discuss your case.