Report: Ex-Utah AG’s Campaign Filed Fake Tax Papers

AP

Search warrants unsealed Thursday contained a number of new details connected to the investigation of two of Utah’s former attorneys general, John Swallow and Mark Shurtleff, according to The Salt Lake Tribune.

Among other things, the documents showed that a campaign consultant tied to Swallow (R) allegedly filed fake tax documents to conceal the activities a political organization.

Citing information from a confidential source who worked for Swallow campaign consultant Jason Powers, the documents allege that Powers set up a nonprofit organization, the Proper Role of Government Education Association (PRGEA), which did not have to disclose its donors. Contributions to the group came mainly from payday lenders, and the group spent money on ads attacking Swallow’s opponents.

Later, Powers and the source fabricated tax documents “to hide how much the organization had raised and spent,” according to the Tribune. The actual amounts would have shown the organization had “violated Internal Revenue Service rules about how much such nonprofits can legally pump into political activities.”

The source also told investigators that Shurtleff (R) used campaign funds to pay off $30,000 in personal credit card debt.

Swallow resigned last month amid mounting investigation, but has maintained his innocence. An attorney for Powers, the consultant, told the Tribune that “Mr. Powers and his entities have legally complied with all state and federal reporting obligations.”

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Eric Lach is a reporter for TPM. From 2010 to 2011, he was a news writer in charge of the website?s front page. He has previously written for The Daily, NewYorker.com, GlobalPost and other publications. He can be reached at ericl@talkingpointsmemo.com
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