City Weekly has learned from a reliable source that Brent Baker is on the short list for possible candidates to serve as Utah’s next United States Attorney.---
Called for comment, Baker would only say that “those kinds of decisions at the nomination process are left to the White House, and I can’t comment.”
For 13 years Baker worked with the Securities and Exchange Commission prosecuting white-collar fraud, including four years as a Special Assistant United States Attorney prosecuting criminal securities violations. In 2004 he left to work in private practice, doing white-collar criminal defense at the Salt Lake City law firm of Parsons Behle & Latimer, representing corporate clients in a variety of SEC and other regulatory cases.
Baker recently helped put together the Utah Fraud College, an event held in June at Utah Valley University that provided resources and advice to the public on learning how to avoid fraud in Utah. A black market industry some experts believe took $1.4 billion from Utah investors in 2009.
The U.S. Attorney position is currently held in interim by Carlie Christensen and has been an appointment in flux ever since former U.S. Attorney Brett Tolman left the office in January. In July, a frontrunner for the position, David Schwendiman was dropped from consideration.
Wayne Klein, a former Director of the Utah Division of Securities says Baker’s experience in securities violations prosecution and defense would be an asset to the U.S. Attorney’s Office of Utah. “He’s got a great background having been in private practice and government service,” Klein says. “I think his knowledge of white-collar crime would be a great help to the [U.S. Attorney’s] office.”