FLDS leader pleads guilty in fraud case

A former leader of the Fundamentalist LDS church has pleaded guilty to food stamp fraud and failing to appear in court. Lyle Jeffs, 57, was among 11 leaders and members of the organization who were indicted last year, accused of food stamp fraud at an estimated value of $191,000. Jeffs had a particularly high profile in this case after slipping out of an ankle monitor and being on the run for nearly a year. He was eventually located and arrested in June in South Dakota.

As part of the deal with prosecutors Jeffs is pleading guilty of conspiracy to commit Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, also known as SNAP, benefits fraud and faces a year in prison for that charge. He has additionally pleaded guilty for failing to appear in court and could face a sentence of anywhere between two to four years in prison for that. The prison terms would, however, run concurrently.

The remaining defendants all arranged deals with prosecutors that did not involve any prison time.

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