Mormon Cult Leader Lyle Jeffs Takes It on the Lam

      SALT LAKE CITY (CN) — Fundamentalist Mormon cult leader Lyle Jeffs took it on the lam while awaiting trial for food stamp fraud and the FBI asked the public to help find him.
     Jeffs, 56, a bishop in the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, was jailed in February with 10 other church members, accused of food-stamp fraud.
     The federal indictment accused Lyle Jeffs and other sect leaders of ordering their followers to use millions of dollars from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) to buy food from sect-affiliated stores and put it in a communal warehouse, or to use the SNAP benefit cards to send the federal money to the sect’s stores whether they bought food or not.
     “The violations included in the indictment are especially egregious since they allege that leaders of the conspiracy directed others to commit crimes, for which only certain people benefited,” FBI Agent Eric Barnhart said when the indictment issued. “This type of conduct represents nothing less than pure theft.”
     The indictment came toward the end of a federal trial accusing leaders of twin towns on the Utah-Arizona border, Hilldale, Utah and Colorado City, Ariz., of discriminating against people who do not belong to the sect by denying them utility services, housing and police protection.
     Lyle Jeffs is the brother of cult leader Warren Jeffs, who is serving life plus 20 years in federal prison for child sexual assault.
     Lyle Jeffs fled from home confinement less than two weeks after being let out of jail. The FBI issued a warrant for his arrest Sunday. He was ordered to wear a GPS ankle monitor while on house arrest.
     The FBI asked that information about Lyle Jeffs be called in to its Salt Lake City office, at (801) 579-1400, or to a local FBI office if he is seen away from Utah.

%d bloggers like this: