Fundamentalist Mormon leader Lyle Jeffs arrested

By Danielle Haynes  |  June 15, 2017 at 11:04 AM
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June 15 (UPI) -- The FBI on Thursday announced agents arrested Lyle Jeffs, a leader of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, after being on the run for one year.

Lyle Jeffs slipped out of his GPS monitoring device in July while in confinement at his Salt Lake City home awaiting his trial on charges he defrauded the U.S. food stamp program. The FBI's Field Office in Salt Lake City posted a tweet Thursday morning saying he was captured Wednesday evening in South Dakota.

Lyle Jeffs and 10 others were indicated for food stamp fraud and money laundering in a scheme that cost taxpayers more than $12 million.

The FBI believes Lyle Jeffs may have used his status as a bishop within the FLDS in order to find places to stay without detection by law enforcement.

Lyle Jeffs' brother, FLDS President Warren Jeffs, is serving life in prison for sexually assaulting two girls aged 12 and 15. The sect practices polygamy and Warren Jeffs faced charges that were later thrown out that he facilitated marriages between men and young girls.

Lyle Jeffs' legal wife divorced him in 2015, but members of the FLDS says he also eight other spiritual wives.

A third Jeffs brother, Seth Jeffs, pleaded guilty to charges associated with the food stamp fraud case.

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