Reid denies involvement in Utah businessman scheme


SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's office says the senator was never involved in a deal to have a Utah businessman pay Reid to make a federal investigation disappear.

St. George businessman Jeremy Johnson says a top official in the Utah attorney general's office orchestrated an agreement in 2010 to pay $600,000 to someone connected to Reid.

Johnson told The Salt Lake Tribune over the weekend that he believed Reid would intervene in the Federal Trade Commission's investigation into his business. Johnson is accused of running a fraudulent $350 million software scheme.

A spokeswoman for Reid's office, Kristen Orthman, says the Nevada Democrat "had no knowledge or involvement" in Johnson's case and said the allegations "are nothing more than innuendo and simply not true."

The top official who allegedly arranged the deal three years ago — John Swallow — also denies the accusation.

Swallow has since been elected the state's attorney general. He was sworn in earlier this month.

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