Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev. , walks to a closed-door meeting with fellow Democrats as he and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky. , work to negotiate a legislative path to avoid the so-called "fiscal cliff," at the Capitol in Washington, Sunday, Dec. 30, 2012. (Photo: AP)
(TheBlaze/AP) -- Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's office says the senator was never involved in a bribery deal to help a Utah businessman's federal investigation disappear, as the businessman has claimed.
St. George resident Jeremy Johnson says a top official in the Utah attorney general's office orchestrated an agreement in 2010 to pay $600,000 to someone connected to Reid in order to persuade Reid to intervene in the Federal Trade Commission's investigation into his business.
Johnson is accused of running a fraudulent $350 million software scheme, and claims to have already made a portion of the payment to Reid's intermediary when he was slapped with a federal lawsuit.
But a spokeswoman for Reid's office, Kristen Orthman, says the Nevada Democrat "had no knowledge or involvement" in Johnson's case and said the allegations "are nothing more than innuendo and simply not true."
The top official who allegedly arranged the deal three years ago - John Swallow - also denies the accusation.
Swallow has since been elected the state's attorney general. He was sworn in earlier this month.