SALT LAKE CITY — A jury found Marc Sessions Jenson not guilty of money laundering and communications fraud Friday in a case stemming from a failed real estate project in Central Utah, and Jenson has maintained that former Utah Attorneys General had targeted him for charges after he refused to provide money and favors.
A jury found Jenson not guilty of four counts of money laundering and four counts of communications fraud. The jury had begun deliberations Thursday around 2 p.m., broke later that evening and reconvened Friday. The verdict was announced around 7 p.m. Friday. Jenson is currently serving time for other charges.
Marc Jenson and his brother, Stephen Jenson, had pitched their multi-billion dollar idea to turn the old Elk Meadows ski area in Beaver County into a posh, destination resort featuring skiing, golf and high-end homes. The original charges against the Jensons were filed more than four years ago by then Attorney General Mark Shurtleff.
The Jensons claim their deal was legitimate but fell apart due to circumstances like a downturn in the economy and a hedge fund backer in New York making the decision to back out on the deal.
The Jensons further allege that the charges were filed as a form of payback by Shurtleff and his then-deputy John Swallow. The brothers said they were victims of a shakedown by the two, who allegedly demanded money and favors from Marc Jenson—who said he refused those requests.