Posted: Tuesday, February 11, 2020. 4:39 pm CST.
By Aaron Humes: Jacob Kingston, testifying in the Washakie Renewable Energy-Lev Dermen trial ongoing in Salt Lake City, Utah, appears to have tied new United Democratic Party leader-elect and Minister of National Security, to monthly payments of US $25,000 from Dermen, according to the Salt Lake Tribune.
As reported by Nate Carlisle, Kingston testified to meeting with Saldivar in 2014 and 2015 and discussing money for political campaigns.
Kingston said, “He told us he had three or four individuals…part of his party and their intent to get re-elected.” Dermen then offered to pay him to finance the campaigns.
No other names were called, but text messages shown to the jury from exactly six years ago today, February 11, quote Saldivar reporting to Kingston that Dermen was not paying the money as he said he would, stating, “Really need the February tranche.”
Kingston, the Tribune reports, testified that he agreed to pay US $50,000 to cover two months, but Saldivar would not agree to him wiring the money. Saldivar, he said, did agree to meet a business partner who would take the money to Miami, Florida, the following Thursday.
Saldivar has denied taking any bribes and insists he has done nothing wrong, but clammed up when questioned after the UDP National Convention on Sunday about his pursuit of making Dermen an honorary consul, stating he would not discuss the matter further. The party has reportedly postponed a press conference scheduled for tomorrow, Wednesday.
In other testimony from Salt Lake City, Kingston claimed to have paid Dermen US $4 million to halt an investigation against his uncle and other operators of a central Utah coal mine who were eventually not indicted, though there was nothing to suggest he actually intervened, according to the Tribune.
Kingston, says the Tribune, is making the case that Dermen allegedly operated an “umbrella” of protection by making payments to law enforcement — called “the boys” — in the United States and abroad.
Kingston has said under oath that he and Dermen operated a biofuel fraud that sought biofuel tax credits. Prosecutors say they illegally received US $470 million.
The Tribune says the defense has yet to question Jacob Kingston. In his opening arguments earlier this month, defense lawyer Mark Geragos told the jury that the Kingston family members are multigenerational fraudsters and that Jacob was trying to hide money from his uncle.
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