Tuesday, August 13, 2013

The Top 5 Issues from CW's Cover on Swallow's Secret Fundraisers

Posted By on August 13, 2013, 1:22 PM

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ICYMI, here's the “Too Long, Didn't Read” Cliffs Note version of this past week's CW cover story on the ex-con who held fundraisers for John Swallow's campaign for Attorney General that were never reported on Swallow's official records.---

Takeaway 1: Robert Montgomery paid for two fundraisers for Swallow's campaign for Attorney General that Swallow never disclosed on his public records

In 2012, telemarketer Robert Montgomery held two fundraisers, where he bought meals and gifts to raffle off including iPads and Jazz tickets to those who donated to Swallow's campaign. People who were invited to the fundraisers represented an industry that often faces prosecution by the Attorney General's Office for consumer-fraud issues. While a former employee says Montgomery spent roughly $2,000 on the fundraisers, Swallow did not disclose the fundraiser donations on his campaign records.

Takeaway 2: Former employees of Montgomery say he sought Swallow as an ally

According to former employee Rena Andrus, Montgomery said he was working with Swallow to keep the regulations affecting his business “loose.” In a company meeting, Montgomery had even told staff that Swallow would keep the FTC “off his back.”

Takeaway 3: Former employees say the company's practices were why he wanted a relationship with Swallow

Montgomery's company, Emmediate Credit Solutions, offered to help people repair their credit by mailing dispute letters to their creditors. But, according to employees, Montgomery's company would bill clients and then let dispute letters pile up without being mailed out. When the letters stacked up too high, Montgomery would simply have them thrown in the garbage. Montgomery's company also appears to have been telemarketing without a license, a matter the Utah Division of Consumer Protections is now investigating.

Takeaway 4: Montgomery also has an extensive criminal record

Montgomery was indicted for felony firearm possession in 2003 after his wife killed herself using Montgomery's own gun. His wife had been repeatedly abused by Montgomery and had previously attempted suicide only weeks prior to her successful attempt, but Montgomery had refused to let her take her medication. Montgomery's criminal record also included assault of a police officer and a history of drugs and violence.

Takeaway 5: The fundraisers occurred the same time Swallow was recorded admitting that he planned on taking over the Utah Division of Consumer Protections

As City Weekly reported on in the May 31, 2012, story “Campaign Confidential,” Swallow told a call-center owner that he planned on having the Attorney General's Office take over Consumer Protections, the office that investigates allegations of consumer fraud. It's these complaints that often plague the businesses that were at the fundraisers thrown by Montgomery, and which also gave thousands in campaign cash to Swallow.

Click here to read the full cover story, “Bad Company

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