Three Mormon Polygamists Back In Prison For Food Stamp Fraud


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Three leaders of a polygamous Mormon church accused of running a large food stamps scam were recaptured this week for breaking the conditions of their release.

The prominent leaders of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (FLDS) were accused of meeting together on multiple occasions as they awaited trial for one of the biggest welfare fraud cases of the year.

FBI investigators found John Wayman, a former FLDS bishop, and Seth Jeffs, the bishop of the FLDS church in South Dakota, in the same location when they were arrested Monday, the St. George Spectrum reported. The GPS trackers on the two men show that they were in the same location several days at the end of July, and Preston Barlow, another FLDS member indicted in the fraud scheme, also met with them.

As a condition of their release from federal custody, the three men facing conspiracy and fraud charges were banned from having any contact with each other. All three of the men denied the allegations against them.

One member of the cabal, Lyle Jeffs, brother of Seth, is still missing after he slipped his ankle monitor in June by rubbing olive oil on his foot.(RELATED: Polygamous Man Leaves 7 Wives And Dozens Of Kids To Flee The Feds)

A total of 11 FLDS members were arrested in February for stealing more than $12 million from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), or food stamps.

The federal indictment against 11 FLDS members alleges that the group funneled welfare benefits from church members to pay for things like John Deere tractor payments and Ford trucks. As part of service to the church, the leaders asked congregants to donate their SNAP benefits to the church for redistribution, according to the Department of Justice.

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