Update: Polygamist leader Seth Jeffs pleads guilty in FLDS food stamp fraud case

Seth Steed Jeffs. Photo: jail mugshot
SALT LAKE CITY, Dec. 28, 2016 (Gephardt Daily) — Another high-ranking official in the polygamist Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints has accepted a plea deal in the federal food stamps fraud case alleged to have cost taxpayers more than $12 million.

Seth Jeffs, who previously pleaded not guilty in the case, on Wednesday changed his plea to guilty in exchanged for a reduced sentence. The deal allows Jeffs to be released immediately, not have to pay restitution, serve probation or pay a $100 fine. He also will not be charged with additional crimes related to the case.

On Dec. 22, FLDS official John Wayman pleaded guilty and took advantage of the plea deal. Wayman’s attorney told the judge that if his client had not taken the deal, the defense plan was to argue for religious freedom.

The case stems from a federal investigation that found FLDS Church leaders were ordering the legal recipients of food stamps to turn them over for use by top leaders and other group members. The charges allege that some of the benefits were used to make non-food purchases.

Ten of the 11 charged in the case have been offered the same deal in exchange for pleading guilty. Only church leader Lyle Jeffs, who escaped ordered home confinement and remains a fugitive, has not been offered the deal.

John Clifford Wayman. Photo: Washington County

 

2 COMMENTS

  1. Unbelievable. The judge should be investigated . This is wrong on so many levels. No punishment for fraud. I think every taxpayer in Utah should protest. Where’s Woodward and Bernstein when we need them ? Who owns the newspapers ?

  2. Mormons stick together..You don’t ever want to be charged with anything in that plygger state…Many cops known to lie or shoot for any reason.

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