OGDEN -- The Utah Attorney General's Office announced this morning it won't file criminal charges following a lengthy probe of allegations that Envision Ogden engaged in fraud and money laundering.
"The focus of the investigation has been whether Envision Ogden improperly solicited contributions for local economic development projects which illegally ended up in the hands of political candidates," Scott W. Reed, criminal justice division chief for the attorney general's Office said in a prepared statement. "We did not find sufficient evidence of fraud or criminal intent on the part of Envision Ogden or its principal members to justify bringing felony charges for communications fraud or money laundering. Our investigation is now closed."
A 31-page report from the Utah Department of Public Safety's Investigation Bureau lists Dan Schroeder, a Weber State University professor, as a complainant against Envision Ogden. Former state Rep. Neil Hansen said he also filed a complaint with the attorney general's office.
The complaint stems from a $120-per-plate dinner Envision Ogden held at the Ben Lomond Hotel in February 2007 to promote outdoor recreation and welcome Amer Sports Corp., which had just relocated to the city.
Money from the fundraiser was funneled to Friends of Northern Utah Real Esate to bolster the campaign war chests of a city council candidate Blain Johnson, who is no longer on the city council, and Royal Eccles, who failed to win election.
Envision Ogden donated $1,500 directly to Johnson's campaign and $20,700 to Friends of Northern Utah Real Estate, IRS records show.
FNURE then provided $10,990 to Johnson and $9,700 to Eccles from the funds it received from Envision Ogden.