SALT LAKE CITY — Convicted St. George businessman Jeremy Johnson has apparently been released from a federal prison nearly two years before his scheduled release, according to a post on his personal Facebook page.
“The rumors are true! So so so happy to be home,” said a message posted about 5:30 p.m. Under the declaration was a picture of him with his family.
More than 300 people commented on the post, welcoming him home and wishing him well, including state Rep. Phil Lyman, who represents San Juan County.
In a post on St. George radio station KDXU’s Facebook page, the same picture was used along with an update that said, “Jeremy Johnson has been reunited with his family in St. George. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, Jeremy has been confined to his home, which he said is about a million times better than being in prison.”
A message left with the Federal Bureau of Prisons seeking confirmation wasn’t returned Friday night. It was unknown Friday what the terms of Johnson’s release are, including whether he’s under observation or could be required to return to the prison at some point.
Johnson was at the center of a public corruption case against former Utah Attorneys General Mark Shurtleff and John Swallow. Prosecutors ended up dropping charges against Shurtleff, while Swallow was acquitted. Johnson, 44, was serving an 87-month prison sentence in Safford, Arizona, and was scheduled to be released in April 2022.
A wealthy businessman and philanthropist, Johnson was convicted of eight counts of making false statements but a jury acquitted him of 78 counts of bank fraud, wire fraud and money laundering. He was originally sentenced to 135 months, but a federal judge reduced that to 87 months for the crimes related to his internet marketing company, iWorks.
Johnson appealed the new sentence in January 2019, and a federal appeals court ruled against him in February of this year.