The Appellate Group

State v. Johnson

State v. Johnson, 2023 UT App 145 (Mortensen, J.)


A defendant defrauded a series of individuals by convincing them to deposit millions of dollars into his accounts—including his attorney trust account—under the guise that the funds would be used to secure large business loans. He was eventually convicted of five counts of communications fraud and one count of pattern of unlawful activity. He appealed on a number of grounds, and the Utah Court of Appeals affirmed, holding in part:

  • The defendant invited any error related to the jury instruction’s mens rea requirement.
  • The defendant failed to provide the court of appeals with a transcript of the relevant hearing and so he could not persuade the court that the district court abused its discretion when it ordered defendant to pay nearly $1.5 million in restitution.
  • Practice tip: The appellant must provide the appellate court with the record of the proceedings below, including all relevant hearings.

Read the full court opinion