SALT LAKE CITY, Utah, Aug. 23, 2016 (Gephardt Daily) — FLDS Church leaders Seth Jeffs and John Wayman will remain in jail pending trial on their multi-million dollar fraud trial related to the illegal use of food stamps, a federal judge ruled Tuesday.
Both men had been released pending their trial provided they follow a set of directives from the court. One was that they not contact other defendants in the case.
Jeffs and Wayman were arrested after their GPS monitoring devices placed them at the same location, at a late-night meeting called by Warren Jeffs, the imprisoned church leader whom members of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints consider to be their prophet.
U.S. District Court Judge Ted Stewart decided on Tuesday to hold the men in jail, ruling that there were concerns that their loyalties to Jeffs conflicted with court orders.
“The evidence supports the conclusion that defendant will follow the dictates of Warren Jeffs, even if they run counter to the orders of the Court,” the decision read, in part.
“As counsel for Defendant stated at the hearing, this is a community that follows the instructions of their prophet.”
Seth Jeffs and Wayman are among 11 people charged in the FBI case. Federal prosecutors say the group’s scheme misused more than $12 million in food stamps by getting those who qualified for them to turn them over for use church use.
The majority of defendants in the case have requested the trial, set for Oct. 3, be delayed.