The HOPE Organization logo
 
 
For 9 years HOPE was a St. George, Utah based 501(c)(3) charity providing assistance to individuals and families to safely transition from a polygamous lifestyle into mainstream society.  In March 2013 our board of directors decided to close The HOPE Organization for victim assistance and advocacy, but to keep our web site on the Internet as an historical research tool to educate the public on issues concerning the Hildale, Colorado City and Centennial Park polygamous groups (which originated on the Utah/Arizona border) and their offshoot communites in other areas of the US and Canada. This web site will not be updated past April 2013.
 
 
 
Breaking News
 
  Here's the latest on what's happening.
  These news articles are listed in chronological order.
 
The FBI's "Top Ten Most Wanted" Fugitive Captured in Nevada
Nevada Highway Patrol
Warren Jeffs wearing shorts

Warren Jeffs was wearing SHORTS
when the red Cadillac he was riding
in was stopped on August 28, 2006
by the Nevada Highway Patrol.
Nevada Highway Patrol
Naomi Jeffs wearing jeans

Naomie Jessop was wearing JEANS
when the red Cadillac she was riding
in was stopped on August 28, 2006
by the Nevada Highway Patrol.
Sent to the Purgatory Correctional Facility in Hurricane, Utah
Warren Jeffs
Warren Jeffs' Utah Trial
Warren Jeffs wearing shorts

The media frenzy during Warren Jeffs' Rape as an Accomplice trial in St. George, Utah, September 13-25, 2007
The Utah Verdict
Warren Jeffs wearing shorts

Read all about it
Sentenced to the Utah State Prison
Warren Jeffs
Sent to Kingman, Arizona for
more charges of child abuse.
After a two-year delay, the trial for the first case of
"sexual conduct with a minor"
was scheduled to begin on November 2, 2010.

Warren Jeffs

Read all about it
Returned to the Utah State Prison June 15, 2010
after the Arizona charges were dismissed June 9, 2010.
Extradition papers from Texas were served on Warren Jeffs
July 1, 2010, but he refused to sign them.
On July 27, 2010 the Utah Supreme Court overturned
Warren Jeffs' conviction on two counts of rape as an accomplice,
ordering a new trial.

Warren Jeffs

Is Warren Jeffs sweating in this latest Utah mug shot?
The Raid on the YFZ Ranch in Eldorado, Texas
Mike Terry, Deseret News
YFZ temple
Keith Johnson, Deseret News
YFZ raid

Read all about it
Warren Jeffs' Texas "Child Bride" Indictments
YFZ raid

Warren Jeffs kissing 12-year-old "child bride" Merrianne on July 27, 2006
YFZ raid

Warren Jeffs celebrating 1st anniversary with "child bride" Loretta on January 26, 2005

Warren Jeffs was extradited to Texas on November 30, 2010 to be tried for three offenses - sexual assault, aggravated sexual assault and felony bigamy. His first trial was scheduled to begin on January 24, 2011, then changed to February 21, 2011.  On January 31, 2011 the first trial's date was again rescheduled to July 25, 2011 and the felony bigamy trial was rescheduled from March 14, 2011 to October 3, 2011.  On September 9, 2011 the bigamy trial was rescheduled to February 15, 2012.  On December 28, 2011 Texas prosecutors filed a motion to continue Warren's bigamy trial to a date in late 2012.
Warren Jeffs
 
Warren Jeffs was found guilty of count 1 - aggravated sexual assault of a child and count 2 - sexual assault of a child on August 4, 2011.  On August 9, 2011, he was sentenced to life in prison for the 1st degree felony offense of aggravated sexual assault and 20 years in prison for the 2nd degree felony count of sexual assault, and a $10,000 fine.  That same day, Warren Jeffs was shipped off to Huntsville prison to be processed into the Texas Department of Criminal Justice and had his head shaved as part of the intake process. On August 23, 2011 he was put in protective custody at the Powledge Unit of the Palestine, Texas prison.
Warren Jeffs
Texas Dept. of Criminal Justice

Read all about it
11 more YFZ men were indicted
YFZ raid

Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott announced on July 28, 2008, in Austin, Texas
that five FLDS members turned themselves in after being
indicted for child sexual abuse ("marrying" little girls).


Read all about it
October 26, 2009 the first YFZ trial began for Raymond Merril Jessop.  November 5th the jury found him guilty of Sexual Assault of a Child.   November 10th he was sentenced to 10 years in prison and an $8,000 fine.
Raymond Jessop

38-year-old Raymond Jessop, seen here with one of his "child brides", was charged with
sexually assaulting a different child bride because of his polygamous "spiritual marriage"
to her when she was an underage 15-year-old girl.
Raymond Jessop was also charged with committing bigamy.


Read all about it
December 7, 2009 the second YFZ trial began for Allan Eugene Keate.   December 15th the jury found him guilty of Sexual Assault of a Child.  December 17th he was sentenced to 33 years in prison.
Allan Keate

57-year-old Allan Eugene Keate was charged with sexually assaulting a child
because of his "spiritual marriage" to an underage 15-year-old child bride in April 2006.


Read all about it
The third YFZ trial was scheduled to begin for Michael George Emack on January 25, 2010.  Instead he pled "no contest" on January 22nd, was found guilty and sentenced to 7 years in prison.  On April 15, 2010 Emack pled "no contest" again, this time to the bigamy charge and was sentenced to 7 years, which will run concurrently with his previous sentence.
Michael Emack

58-year-old Michael George Emack was charged with Sexual Assault of a Child
because of his "spiritual marriage" to a 16-year-old child bride on August 5, 2004.
Michael Emack was also charged with committing bigamy.


Read all about it
The fourth YFZ trial for Merril Leroy Jessop began on March 8, 2010.  March 17th the jury found him guilty of Sexual Assault of a Child.  March 19th he was sentenced to 75 years in prison plus a $10,000 fine.
Merril Leroy Jessop

35-year-old Merril Leroy Jessop was charged with Sexual Assault of a Child because of his "spiritual marriage" to a 15-year-old child bride who also gave birth when she was still only 15.  This "spiritual" union was just one of three underage "marriages" (two 15-year-olds and a 12-year-old) performed on the night of July 27, 2006.


Read all about it
The fifth YFZ trial for Lehi Barlow Jeffs (aka Lehi Barlow Allred) was scheduled to begin on April 26, 2010.   On April 15, 2010 he pled "no contest" to sexual assault of a child and was sentenced to 8 years in prison.   During the same court hearing, he also pled "no contest" to bigamy and was sentenced to 8 years, which will run concurrently with his other sentence.
Lehi Barlow Jeffs

29-year-old Lehi Barlow Jeffs was charged with Sexual Assault of a Child
because of his "spiritual marriage" to a 15-year-old child bride in October 2005.
He was also charged with committing bigamy.


Read all about it
The Texas Medical Board fined Dr. Lloyd Hammon Barlow $3000 on April 19, 2010
Dr. Lloyd Hammon Barlow

On July 22, 2008 Dr. Lloyd Barlow was indicted on 3 seperate charges of Failure to Report Child Abuse because he delivered the babies of 3 underage girls living at the YFZ Ranch.  The Texas Medical Board took action against him on April 9, 2010: fining him $3,000 and requiring him to complete 8 hours of Continuing Medical Education in ethics, 8 CME hours in medical record-keeping, and giving him one year to pass the Texas Medical Jurisprudence Exam.  The Texas Medical Board based its action on Dr. Barlow's failure to use due diligence and maintain adequate medical records.  Dr. Barlow's Texas medical license became delinquent for non-payment on 12/30/2012 after it expired on 11/30/2012.


Read all about it
The sixth YFZ trial for Abram Harker Jeffs began on June 9, 2010.  He was found guilty on June 22, 2010 and sentenced to 17 years in prison and a $10,000 fine on June 23, 2010.
Abram Harker Jeffs

37-year-old Abram Harker Jeffs was charged with Sexual Assault of a Child
because of his "spiritual marriage" to a 15-year-old child bride in May 2006.
He was also charged with committing bigamy.


Read all about it
The seventh YFZ trial for Keith William Dutson Jr. was scheduled to begin on July 26, 2010, but finally began on October 26, 2010. He was found guilty on November 2, 2010 and sentenced to 6 years in prison plus a $10,000 fine on November 9, 2010.
Keith William Dutson

23-year-old Keith William Dutson, Jr. was charged with Sexual Assault of a Child
because of his "spiritual marriage" to a 15-year-old child bride in August 2006.


Read all about it
The eighth YFZ trial for Wendell Loy Nielsen was scheduled to begin on September 7, 2010, then rescheduled to begin on October 25, 2010.  It was later rescheduled again to start on August 22, 2011. He had a pre-trial hearing on June 27, 2011, but did not show up because of "health problems."  On October 26, 2011 Wendell Nielsen pled "no contest" to the three bigamy charges and was sentenced to 10 years of probation. Then he changed his mind and on November 28th he withdrew his "no contest" plea and a jury trial was later scheduled to begin on March 21, 2012 in Midland, Texas.   A jury found him guilty of all three bigamy charges on March 28, 2012 and on March 30th they sentenced him to ten years in prison and a $30,000 fine ($10,000 for each of the 3 charges).  Wendell Nielsen was removed as president of the FLDS church on January 28, 2011.
Wendell Nielsen

68-year-old Wendell Loy Nielsen was charged with three counts of third-degree felony bigamy.
The "Bishop's Record" found in a vault on the YFZ Ranch listed 21 wives for him.


Read all about it
The ninth YFZ trial for Frederick Merril Jessop was scheduled to begin on October 12, 2010, but was continued (postponed) because Merril was in the St. George, Utah hospital. On March 31, 2011, his trial was scheduled to start on May 2, 2011. On April 8, 2011 it was continued again.  A trial date was finally set for October 31, 2011.  On November 7, 2011 Merril Jessop was convicted and the next day he received the maximum sentence of 10 years in prison plus a $10,000 fine for performing the illegal "marriage" of his 12-year-old daughter to polygamous pedophile prophet, Warren Jeffs.
Merril Jessop

72-year-old Fredrick Merril Jessop was charged with performing an unlawful marriage ceremony
involving a minor, a third-degree felony, because he "married" his 12-year-old daughter
to the then 51-year-old FLDS polygamous pedophile prophet, Warren Jeffs.


Read all about it
The tenth YFZ trial for Leroy Johnson Steed was scheduled to begin on December 6, 2010, but was continued (postponed) indefinitely.  At a court hearing on June 27, 2011, Leroy's trial date was scheduled for November 29, 2011.  On November 1, 2011 Leroy pled no contest to the two counts of bigamy and the one count of child sexual assault.  He received a sentence of seven years for both bigamy counts and another seven years for the child sexual assault charge.  His sentences will be served concurrently.  The State dismissed the charge of tampering with evidence.
Leroy Johnson Steed

Leroy Johnson Steed was charged with first-degree felony sexual assault of a child, second-degree felony bigamy, third-degree felony bigamy and third-degree felony tampering with physical evidence.


Read all about it
 
 
Flight Of The FLDS
by Derek Olson
Keloland TV - Sioux Falls, South Dakota
Originally broadcast February 27, 2013

PRINGLE, SD - The polygamist sect known as the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints or FLDS, has had a compound 15 miles southwest of Pringle in the Black Hills for almost a decade.  Some estimates say as many as 200 people live on the property.  That number, however, could go much higher as the fundamentalist group comes under increased pressure in other parts of the country.  A few miles southwest of Pringle just off of Farmer Road, you'll find a guard tower that seems out of place.  It's the most visible feature of the FLDS compound founded by polygamist leader Warren Jeffs.  "Nobody in Custer County likes it. We don't like that compound here. It's not that they're bad neighbors, it's that they're doing bad things," Custer County Chronicle publisher Charley Najacht said.  The sect, which broke away from the mainstream Mormon Church in the 1800s, still practices polygamy and arranged marriages with young girls.  Jeffs is currently serving a life sentence in Texas for sexually assaulting two young girls whom he described as his spiritual wives.  Evidence presented during the trial showed Jeffs fathered a child with one of the girls, who was only 15-years-old.  "And he still rules the compound; he calls the shots even from prison, which is totally amazing," Najacht said.  Our repeated attempts to contact someone within the FLDS compound at Pringle have gone unanswered.     Read more
 
 
 
County extends building permits for FLDS
Jason Ferguson
Custer County Chronicle - Custer, South Dakota
Originally published Thursday, February 28th, 2013

Building permits for the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (FLDS) compound in southwestern Custer County will be extended, after the FLDS met stipulations set forth by the county before it would grant the extentions.  At a previous meeting of the Custer County Commission, county planning director David Green suggested the county hold off on extending the permits until FLDS officials allowed the county to inspect the buildings being constructed.  The county also required that the FLDS catch up on its back taxes.  At the commission's Feb. 20 meeting, Green said he went out and inspected the buildings the previous permits were issued for, and none are done, although the chicken coop is substantially complete.  Green said he felt it was appropriate to extend the life of the permit for up to a year, provided the FLDS continues to allow access to the project and pays its taxes to current.  However, Green said the permit issued for the storage building should be redone, since the building portion hasn't been started and the project looks different on the ground than what the FLDS had specified when it came to the county for the permit.  Green said the FLDS members did not indicate there would be a basement in the facility, but said there is a hole pushing 20 feet deep in the ground where the storage barn is to be constructed.  Green also said for any permits for new construction projects on the land, the commission could continue to require the FLDS does more road improvements in the area.     Read more
 
 
Read Willie Jessop's Application for Writ of Execution directing the Washington County Sheriff to seize and sell Twin City's property to satisfy his court Judgements, filed in Utah Fifth District Court March 1, 2013
 
 
Concern Growing Over FLDS Compound In South Dakota
By Heidi Hatch
KUTV 2News
Originally broadcast Friday, March 1 2013

(KUTV) There is growing concern over the FLDS compound in South Dakota after FLDS prophet Warren Jeffs had the only grocery store near Hildale, Utah and Colorado City shut down — while he is in a Texas prison.  An estimated 200 people live in the South Dakota compound, which has been growing for decades.  But there is new worry that with increased pressure in Texas and Utah could be sent north.  Unlike Hildale and Colorado City -- no one goes in or out — there is a guard tower to ensure of it.  "Nobody in Custer County likes it. We don't like that compound here. It's not that they're bad neighbors, it's that they're doing bad things," Charley Najacht said.  Charley Najacht, with a local paper called the Custer County Chronicle, is concerned because of the child sex charges FLDS prophet Warren Jeffs is held on.  "And he still rules the compound; he calls the shots even from prison, which is totally amazing," Najacht says.  "It's like any other family or person or organization, you have to have probable cause to go in there to do something and we don't have any evidence of that happening," says Custer County Sheriff Rick Wheeler.  Last year, the Attorney General in Texas filed paperwork to seize the FLDS' "Yearning For Zion," ranch.  Authorities believe the ranch was purchased with money obtained illegally and that the ranch was used as a haven for sexually assaulting young girls.     Read more
 
 
DEA agents arrest 2 St. George men
Sunyich, Vowell held on federal warrant
Written by Casie Forbes
The Spectrum
Originally published March 1, 2013

Florida Drug Enforcement Agency officials arrested two St. George residents Thursday in connection to a complaint filed by the U.S. Attorney's Office.  According to a Utah DEA spokesperson, St. George DEA agents worked with Tampa, Fla., DEA agents, who traveled to Utah to arrest Chad Christopher Sunyich, 37, and Jason Thomas Vowell, 37. The two were taken into custody and booked into Purgatory Correctional Facility on Thursday evening.  According to documents filed by the U.S. Attorney's Office, warrants for the arrest of Sunyich and Vowell were issued Feb. 20.  The complaint sought their arrest for charges of conspiracy to distribute 100 kilos or more of marijuana and aiding and abetting in the possession of a quantity of marijuana.  The DEA spokesperson said officials seized $160,000 in cash and Vowell's twin-engine airplane in January at the St. George Municipal Airport.  The two are being held in Purgatory Correctional Facility on a federal hold with no bail.     See mug shot
 
 
Defense lawyers fighting proposed gag order on Jeremy Johnson
Friend whom prosecutors allegedly threatened to target arrested in drug case
By Dennis Romboy
Deseret News
Originally published Saturday, March 2 2013

SALT LAKE CITY — A defense attorney group is challenging federal prosecutors' attempts to silence indicted businessman Jeremy Johnson.  The Utah Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers filed a court brief this past week arguing that the U.S. Attorney's Office hasn't provided evidence for an order to keep Johnson quiet.  "Instead, it appears the government is asking the court to presume the mere specter of media attention is sufficient to justify the entry of a very broad gag order, not only on Mr. Johnson and his counsel, but also on any or all possible witnesses," according to the 26-page document.  The association says it doesn't want to be involved in the case other than to argue against the gag order.  Alleging that Johnson has used the media to "publicly besmirch the integrity" of the U.S Attorney's Office, prosecutors want to prevent him, his attorney, his associates and all potential witnesses from making statements outside court.  A decision on the proposed gag order is expected later this month.  A federal magistrate judge sternly warned Johnson to not talk to the media or potential witnesses in the meantime.  Johnson ignited a political firestorm in January when he accused Utah Attorney General John Swallow of helping arrange a $600,000 payment to enlist Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid in an effort to derail a Federal Trade Commission investigation into Johnson's company, iWorks.  Swallow adamantly denies the allegation.  Reid has disavowed any knowledge of Johnson's case.     Read more
 
 
Group seeks host homes for ex-FLDS youth
Meeting scheduled Tuesday in St. George
Written by Kevin Jenkins
The Spectrum
Originally published March 2, 2013

ST. GEORGE — An organization that fosters interaction between society and Utah's polygamous cultures is looking for families willing to take in young people who are on their own after leaving their polygamous homes.  Safety Net, a group composed of various state agencies and educators, as well as some members of the polygamous communities, will host an open house Tuesday at the Washington County Library in hopes of finding new families to help care for the teenagers as they try to adapt to a new culture.  "I personally have two teenage boys (staying with me). We've had eight so far," said Brent Hofhines, a member of the group.  "One I have now will probably be here through college. (But) typically, when they turn 18 and graduate from high school, they move out on their own."  Hofhines said one purpose of Safety Net, which was organized under the direction of the Utah Attorney General's Office, has been to help people leaving the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.  The polygamous church has reportedly influenced families to eject youths or other family members deemed to be "apostates" during recent decades, which has often left the outcast family members struggling to adapt to the unfamiliar lifestyle of society outside their insular community.  Hyrum Barlow, a 22-year-old former FLDS member, said his host family was instrumental in pushing him to obtain a GED certificate and still offers help to him and his new family, much as any fostering parents would.  "It was tough going in to somebody you don't know and (putting up with) the rules — having to have a curfew and always check in with someone," Barlow said.  "(But) it was nice having someone to take care of you and help out with things."     Read more
 
 
Letter: Utah Attorney General John Swallow needs to act on polygamy
Opinion
Deseret News
Originally published Sunday, March 3 2013

Utah Attorney General John Swallow states he is concerned about child abuse, domestic abuse and fraud (let's leave that subject to his current personal federal investigation) but chooses not to prosecute plural marriages (like his predecessor, Mark Shurtleff), all while defending the law that makes the practice of polygamy a felony.

As a current first year law student at Creighton University School of Law and a Utah native, I cringe at the idea of thousands of Utah women and children being forced into bigamy, rape and incest. These evil crimes are knowledgably committed every day in our own backyard. This is a legal and ethical travesty. And what does our attorney general have to say about that? "I've thought about that a lot." And done nothing. This future attorney thinks it's time Swallow "thought" about a new career.

Kelly White
Omaha, Neb.     See photo
 
 
A 'MERRY' TIME IN COLORADO CITY
By Cami Cox
Dining/Restaurants
SU Independent - St. George, Utah
Originally published March 3, 2013

When people drive through Colorado City and Hildale, they're usually on their way to somewhere else. You can't get to Lake Powell, for example, without passing through Colorado City (or taking a really, really long detour). But has Colorado City itself ever been your destination?

You might ask, "What's in Colorado City?" Well, aside from the obvious answer, you might be surprised to know that some real dining delights exist in that little 3-mile-stretch of a town that is Colorado City/Hildale. If the enticement isn't enough to make you plan a special trip out there, it should be enough to make you stop next time you drive through.

Just on the Utah/Arizona border separating Colorado City and Hildale – on the Utah side – there's a little cafι on the main highway – when you first come into town – that is absolutely delightful. It features cuisine that would be delicious anywhere – the fact that it's kind of in the middle of nowhere has no bearing once you walk inside the doors.

Once you step into the Merry Wives Cafι, from the dιcor you could be in anywhere in the country – the cafι is pristinely clean, tastefully decorated and has two very modern (and large) flat screen TVs mounted overhead. The local roots aren't entirely forgotten in the dιcor, either – a gorgeously detailed mural on the wall depicts the restaurant's namesakes: the "Merry Wives" (but if you didn't know where you were, you might think it was a painting of three women in the Italian countryside). Small black-and-white photos on the walls show images of local polygamous ancestors.     Read more
 
 
Rodney Hans Holm arrested
Bookings
Washington County Sheriff's Office
news.washeriff.net
Originally published March 4, 2013

HOLM, RODNEY HANS HOLM, RODNEY HANS
HOLM, RODNEY HANS
Birth Date: 07/29/66
Address : 1425 NORTH CANYON ST, HILDALE, UT

  Arrest Time/Date    Arrested By    Agency 
   08:45:00 03/04/13   Thompson, Aaron    WCSO

 Statute  Offense  Class  Court  Required Bond  Amt.Paid 
  41-12A-303.2   NO PROOF OF INSURANCE    BM    WCJ7    400.00    400.00 
  41-6A-1635    OBSTRUCTED WINDOW     CM    WCJ7     40.00    40.00 
  41-6A-1633   MUDFLAP VIOLATION     CM    WCJ7     40.00    40.00 
  76-8-301.5   FAIL TO DISCLOSE IDEN     BM    WCJ7     587.00    587.00 
  41-6A-1635(1)   WINDOW TINT VIOLATION     CM    WCJ7     50.00    50.00 
  453-3-202(1)   DRIVER LIC- NEVER OBT     CM    WCJ7     185.00    185.00 
 
 
Utah Dems call for independent probe of current, former AGs
By Dennis Romboy
Deseret News
Originally published Monday, March 4 2013

SALT LAKE CITY — The Utah Democratic Party called on Gov. Gary Herbert on Monday to appoint an independent prosecutor to investigate the state's current and former attorneys general.  Both Republican Attorney General John Swallow and his GOP predecessor, Mark Shurtleff, have been the subject of news reports alleging misconduct regarding relationships with campaign contributors.  Democrats want a special prosecutor to look into possible ethics violations and breaches of Utah law.  "Right now, it is the media and the feds that are investigating these incredibly serious charges, while the governor and the Republican supermajority are just twiddling their thumbs," said Matt Lyon, executive director of the state Democratic Party.  Lyon said the prosecutor should report back to the people of Utah to clear Swallow's and Shurtleff's names or take appropriate legal action.  The FBI already is investigating Swallow's relationship with indicted businessman Jeremy Johnson, who claims Swallow helped arrange a deal to payoff a U.S. senator to thwart a Federal Trade Commission investigation into Johnson's company.  Utah Democrats also called for lawmakers to create an independent ethics commission in the state's executive branch. A bill to that end is already making its way through the Legislature.

E-mail: romboy@desnews.com
Twitter: dennisromboy
    See photo
 
 
Host Families Needed For Ex-FLDS Teens
By Ladd Egan
KUTV 2News
Originally broadcast Monday, March 4 2013

(KUTV) A polygamy outreach group says more families are needed to help teenagers navigate life on the outside after leaving the insular polygamous culture.  Set up by the Utah Attorney General's Office in 2003, The Safety Net Committee pools the resources of the government, charities and other concerned groups to help those affected by polygamy.  One area where the Safety Net focuses resources is on teenagers, especially boys, who are either kicked out or flee the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.  "They are much more successful if they stay with a family," said Jean Goode, Safety Net's clinical Case Manager, said of the ex-FLDS teens.  "They have very little information about the outside world. They were taught to be afraid of people who were not like them."  Teenagers leaving the FLDS-controlled towns of Colorado City, Ariz., and Hildale, Utah often end up in the St. George area, which is where Safety Net hopes to recruit host families to take in the teens.  Safety Net workers will host an open house Tuesday at 6 p.m. at the Washington County Library in St. George to answer questions and provide information about how families can take care of former-FLDS youth.  Those willing to help will have to undergo a background check and receive training, but the process is not as demanding as becoming a licensed foster care family.  Host families will also not receive a stipend as is customary with the foster care system.  "It sounds hard but the reward is there," said Brent Hofhines, who acts as a host family along with his wife.  "They just need someone to love them, to care for them and to be there for them."  The Hofhines have hosted eight ex-FLDS boys over the last six years and ended up adopting one of them.     Read more
 
 
Families Sought for "Lost Children" of FLDS Sect
By East Idaho News - Idaho Falls, Idaho
Originally published March 5, 2013

(ST GEORGE, UT) – Utah state welfare officials are working to find homes for hundreds of displaced teenagers who have been ejected from their polygamous homes.  The Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, which maintains large property holdings throughout the I-15 corridor, including Idaho, excommunicates teenage boys perceived to be a threat to the isolated polygamous communities throughout Utah and Arizona.  Authorities say it's crucial that the teens be placed in loving foster families to keep them off the streets and away from drugs and alcohol.     See photo
 
 
Judge to hear sect property distribution arguments
By Brady McCombs
Associated Press
Daily Herald - Provo, Utah
Originally published March 05, 2013

The key players in a seven-year-old legal dispute over homes and property belonging to a polygamous sect led by Warren Jeffs on the Utah-Arizona border will be back in court Tuesday.  The hearing is scheduled before 3rd District Judge Denise Lindberg in Salt Lake City is the latest step in the process of coming up with a plan to redistribute property in Hildale, Utah, and Colorado City, Ariz.  In November, the Utah Attorney General's office laid out options during a town hall with current and former members of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.  Attorneys from the Utah and Arizona attorney generals offices will be at the hearing, as well as the court-appointed manager of the trust that holds the properties, Bruce Wisan, and his attorney.  Wisan said all sides have expressed interest in giving members of the sister communities control of who gets what homes and land, perhaps by creating a board to oversee the process.  But he said that Judge Lindberg has concerns about finding a truly independent commission.  Lindberg must approve any plan the sides agree on.  Utah took over a church trust that controls the properties in 2005 amid allegations of mismanagement by Jeffs and other church leaders.  The state, which has a statutory duty to protect charitable trusts, stepped in because the trustees failed to respond to lawsuits.  A November 2012 federal appeals court ruling cleared the way for the state to break up the church trust and sell homes, businesses and farms in the two small towns.     Read more
 
 
Judge OKs board to oversee FLDS property redistribution
By Brady McCombs
Associated Press
Deseret News
Originally published Tuesday, March 5 2013

SALT LAKE CITY — The resolution of a lengthy legal battle over homes and land owned by a Utah-based polygamous sect crept forward Tuesday, when a Utah judge gave initial approval for the creation of a trustees board to oversee the properties on the Utah-Arizona border.  Third District Judge Denise Lindberg approved the proposal, which now goes to Utah Legislature.  Lawmakers must find a way to pay $5.6 million owed to Salt Lake City accountant Bruce Wisan, his attorneys and other firms hired to liquidate assets of a communal land trust once run by Warren Jeffs.  But until that happens, the long-overdue process of deciding how to redistribute about $100 million worth of homes and properties belonging to current and former members of the Fundamentalist LDS Church in Hilldale, Utah, and Colorado City, Ariz., will remain gridlocked.  Jeffrey Shields, an attorney representing Wisan and the trust, told Lindberg that this proposal meets the requirements set recently by a state board that includes Gov. Gary Herbert.  Shields and the offices of the Utah and Arizona attorneys general have also agreed on the plan.  It remains unclear what Utah will do.  Herbert acknowledged Tuesday that the state has a court-ordered obligation to pay up, and said the issue "is not sneaking up on anybody."  But he didn't go as far as to guarantee payment, noting that the state needs to assess its liability and determine if there will be more money owed later.  Herbert said he'd like the issues surrounding the settlement resolved before the session ends next week to avoid a special legislative session.     Read more
 
 
Polygamous Trust Fund To Receive Millions
By Dan Rascon
KUTV 2News
Originally broadcast Tuesday, March 5 2013

(KUTV) A third district Judge has signed a court order for legislatures to pay $5.7 million to a polygamous trust fund.  The fund known as the United Effort Plan or UEA was taken over by the State eight years ago after allegations of corruption and misuse by polygamous leaders.  The UEA covers hundreds of homes and thousands of acres of property in the twin towns of Colorado City and Hildale on the Utah Arizona boarder - totaling upwards of $110 million.  "I think it's a step in the right direction," said Richard Holm who is a UEA homeowner and was in court to hear the decision.  The 5.7 million dollars will go towards paying attorney's and Bruce Wisan who was appointed by the state to oversee the trust.  Once that money is paid the exit strategy can begin.  "The whole idea is to get the trust back to where it can be administered, it needs funding to be administered," said Jeffrey L. Shields the attorney who represents Bruce Wisan.  "We want to turn the trust back over to the people and we want to end the states involvement," said Joni Jones with the Attorney General's office.  And that leads to the next step...  "A step towards issuing deeds that's of course the ultimate solution private ownership of property," said Holm.  The question now becomes will legislatures approve the money.     Read more
 
 
Read Judge Denise Lindberg's Order Granting Motion to Approve Probate Completion Strategy regarding settling the United Effort Plan Trust's payment to fiduciary Bruce Wisan, filed in Utah Third District Court March 5, 2013
 
 
Feds hit St. George businessman Jeremy Johnson with 86-count fraud indictment
By Dennis Romboy
Deseret News
Originally published Wednesday, March 6 2013

SALT LAKE CITY — Federal prosecutors unloaded on one-time multimillionaire Jeremy Johnson and four associates Wednesday with an 86-count indictment for fraud involving his former Internet marketing company.  The U.S. Attorney's Office vowed to file new charges against the St. George businessman after a proposed plea agreement on an earlier fraud charge fell apart in January.  In addition to Johnson, the indictment names Scott Leavitt, Bryce Payne, Ryan Riddle and Loyd Johnston, all of whom worked as executives at Johnson's once-thriving online enterprise, iWorks.  Charges include conspiracy, bank fraud, wire fraud and money laundering.  Riddle called the charges a "vendetta" against Johnson.  "We have known for many months that we were on (federal prosecutor) Brent Ward's hit list of people he would indict if Jeremy Johnson did not plead guilty," he said in a email.  "It is very clear that we are only being prosecuted because the plea deal failed with Jeremy. We have done no wrong."  U.S. Attorney for Utah David Barlow said no threats were made.  The U.S. Attorney's Office had no comment on the new indictment.  Johnson, 37, has declined to comment since a federal judge warned him againt talking to the media pending a decision on a gag order prosecutors are seeking in the case.  He and his colleagues are is scheduled to appear in court April 10.  Johnson touched off a political scandal in January when he accused Utah Attorney General John Swallow of helping arrange a $600,000 payment to enlist Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid in an effort to derail a Federal Trade Commission investigation into iWorks.  Swallow adamantly denies the allegation.  Reid has disavowed any knowledge of Johnson's case.  The U.S. Attorney's Office acknowledged earlier that the FBI and the Department of Justice are investigating.  The new charges are centered on Johnson and iWorks.  Swallow is not mentioned.     Read more
 
 
Jeremy Johnson faces new Internet fraud charges
Superseding indictment also names four new defendants
Written by David DeMille and Kevin Jenkins
The Spectrum
Originally published March 6, 2013

A federal grand jury on Wednesday stacked dozens of new Internet fraud charges on a Utah businessman who just months ago rejected a plea bargain and alleged he had paid a bribe to make the case go away.  Jeremy Johnson was hit with 86 fraud and money laundering counts in a new indictment that adds four business associates who weren't previously defendants in the case.  Prosecutors in the U.S. Attorney's Office say Johnson's businesses used the Internet to fraudulently enroll millions of people in get-rich schemes by charging their credit cards without authorization.  He was originally indicted in June 2011 on three counts of fraud and money laundering.  The federal government's action against Johnson and his iWorks business began with a civil lawsuit filed by the FTC in Las Vegas in December 2010.  The lawsuit locked up iWorks' assets and shuttered the business, but the criminal indictment in Utah could result in a prison sentence for Johnson and his codefendants.  The four codefendants added under the superseding indictment are iWorks officers Scott Leavitt, Bryce Payne, Ryan Riddle and Loyd Johnston.  All four are among the defendants named in the FTC's civil case.  Johnson has maintained his innocence. He anticipated entering guilty pleas in January that he described as a decision to protect a number of other people from facing charges under an agreement with prosecutors.  The plea deal fell apart when U.S. District Judge David Nuffer asked to enter a list specifying who the protected people were.     Read more
 
Read the Defendants' email to U.S. Attorney David Barlow in the Jeremy Johnson Internet fraud case, dated January 25, 2013
 
Read the Defendants' second email to U.S. Attorney David Barlow in the Jeremy Johnson Internet fraud case, dated March 4, 2013
 
Read the Superseding Indictment bringing 86 additional charges against Jeremy Johnson, filed in the US District Court of Utah on March 6, 2013
 
 
Lawmaker calls proposed bill 'persecution effort'
By HOWARD FISCHER
Capitol Media Services
Today's News-Herald - Havasu City, Arizona
Originally published Wednesday, March 6, 2013

PHOENIX — A northwest Arizona lawmaker says a legislative bid to disband the Colorado City police department is "just a persecution effort" because the community residents practice polygamy.  The legislation would allow the local sheriff's department to assume control of any local police department where at least half of its officers had lost their required certification in any five-year period.  While HB 2648 does not name names, Attorney General Tom Horne has previously said that trigger should eliminate the marshal's office, as the police department in the polygamous community on the Arizona-Utah border is called.  Rep. Michelle Ugenti, R-Scottsdale, who is pushing the measure, said having half of any department's officers declared no longer qualified shows there is a systemic problem within the agency.  That, she said, makes state intervention appropriate.  But Rep. Doris Goodale, R-Kingman, told her colleagues they should butt out.  "None of the people involved with this bill has ever set foot in Colorado City, has talked to the people in Colorado City, has any connection with what is going on," she said.  A House vote on the measure could come as early as Thursday.  Horne says that many police officers there are followers of Warren Jeffs who, despite being imprisoned for in Texas for having sex with underage girls, is considered the prophet of the Fundamentalist Church of Latter-Day Saints, located in Colorado City and the adjacent Utah community of Hilldale.  More than half have had their certification revoked by the Arizona Peace Officers Standards and Training Board, some for misconduct with minors and others after declaring their loyalty to Jeffs trumps state law.     Read more
 
 
Read the Texas Third District Court of Appeals' Mandate denying the appeal of Frederick Merril Jessop for not making payments or filing the required documents, filed March, 6 2013
 
 
Jeremy Johnson faces new Internet fraud charges
By Paul Foy
Associated Press
Bloomberg Businessweek
Originally published March 7, 2013

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — A federal grand jury on Wednesday stacked dozens of new Internet fraud charges on a Utah businessman who just months ago rejected a plea bargain and complained he had paid a bribe to make the case go away.  Jeremy Johnson was hit with 85 fraud and money laundering counts in a new indictment that adds four business associates who weren't previously defendants in the case.  Prosecutors say Johnson's businesses used the Internet to fraudulently enroll millions of people in get-rich schemes by charging their credit cards without authorization.  He was originally indicted nearly a year ago on three counts of fraud and money laundering.  Johnson has maintained his innocence.  He rejected a plea deal in January with explosive allegations of misconduct against federal and state prosecutors.  He accused newly elected Utah Attorney General John Swallow of being part of a high-level bribery scheme that Johnson complains failed to derail a federal investigation into his business practices.  Swallow was barely a week in office when Johnson made his complaints widely known.  The U.S. attorney's office said it's investigating and asked a federal magistrate to put Johnson under a gag order.  U.S. Attorney David Barlow says Johnson is using a blog, website, Facebook page and Salt Lake City media outlets to wrongly accuse the government and its prosecutors of misconduct.  U.S. Magistrate Judge Paul Warner has set a March 12 hearing on the gag order.  Prosecutors got their payback Wednesday when the grand jury added the new charges of bank and wire fraud, conspiracy, and money laundering.     Read more
 
 
Jeremy Johnson Faces 86 Additional Charges in New Indictment
By Ladd Egan
KUTV 2News
Originally broadcast Thursday, March 7 2013

(KUTV) He accused others of plenty, including new Attorney General John Swallow of arranging a bribe – but until now, Jeremy Johnson only faced a single criminal charge of mail fraud.  That changed Wednesday when Federal Grand Jury returned 86 new criminal charges against Johnson and four of his co-workers.  The new superseding indictment alleges that Johnson and fellow iWorks employees conspired to lie to banks to set up shell companies to process credit card payments.  But, the additional men charged say the prosecution is all about a vendetta.  Loyd Johnston, a former iWorks employee says he did nothing wrong.  Johnston was hired in June of 2008 by Jeremy Johnson.  Johnston's name is on the 27-page Federal Grand Jury indictment, accusing him and four others of conspiracy, wire fraud, bank fraud, and money laundering.  The indictment says when banks started shutting down iWorks credit card processing accounts, the men "enlisted about 27 straw owners to form about 300 shell companies," lied to banks, and opened new accounts.  Johnston says he's cooperated fully, but the Justice Department won't listen – and says that the charges are payback for when his former boss, Jeremy Johnson, walked away from a plea deal.  "This is a punitive measure against Jeremy, not so much me, because Jeremy isn't playing the game they want him to play," said Johnston.  Ryan Riddle, another former iWorks employee, is also charged.  He says the Justice Department is just following through on a threat.  "What do you call an email that says 'tell your client to come in and plead guilty or we're going to indict everyone he knows?' That sounds like a threat to me," said Riddle.  The U.S. Attorney's Office denies threats were made.
 
 
Woman Who Grew Up in Mormon Polygamist Community to Speak out on Internet Radio
Deborah Beeksma
Press Release
SBWire - The Small Business Newswire
Originally published March 7, 2013

St. Johns, AZ -- (SBWIRE) -- 03/07/2013 -- Imagine being born into a fundamentalist, polygamist commune, spending your childhood in fear of the outside world.

Victoria Reynolds grew up in a small, Mormon polygamist community and knew it was wrong. At 17, she escaped – penniless, naοve and desperate for freedom. On the evening of Friday, March 8, she will share her story on the God Discussion show hosted on Blog Talk Radio.

Now a much sought-after speaker on personal development and inner transformation, Victoria lives with her husband and two children in California. She is the author of Transcending Fear and a founding member of Sound Choices Coalition and the Child Friendly Faith Project.

The show begins at 6:00 PM Pacific / 9 PM Eastern. Details are here: http://www.goddiscussion.net/2013/02/28/an-evening-of-mormon-stories-you-may-have-never-heard-friday-march-8-2013/     Read more
 
 
On the EDge: Straightening out the UEP mess? Hardly
Written by Ed Kociela
Opinion
Dixie Press Online
Originally published March 7, 2013

OPINION – The state has gotten itself into an awful mess.  Earlier this week, it found itself in court again regarding the tangled legal events that have ensnared it for eight years now and allowed the state to run up a $5.69 million tab it has become reluctant to pay.  The court appearance was related to administration of the United Effort Plan, which was set up by officials of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as an umbrella for church assets and holdings.  A Utah probate court placed the UEP under the oversight of special fiduciary Bruce Wisan when Warren Jeffs, the self-proclaimed prophet of the FLDS church, went on the lam when charged with rape as an accomplice charges in Utah.  The move was denounced by a federal district court as a venture into "forbidden territory."  As often happens when attorneys get involved, the lawsuits have mounted and mounted.  There is now a very complicated mess.  The UEP remains under state control and the oversight of Wisan.  The FLDS Association has not paid a cent in occupancy fees since the UEP was placed in a trust, meaning that most of the homes and businesses in Short Creek since 2005 have been occupied rent-free.  Everybody from the 3rd District Court to the Utah Supreme Court has had a say in this matter without a consensus.  And, Wisan?  His meter has been running all this time, chugging up to the tune of $5.69 million that the state owes him for services rendered.     Read more
 
 
Beans, Water Only For FLDS Kids?
By Ladd Egan
KUTV 2News
Originally broadcast Thursday, March 7 2013

(KUTV) Children inside Warren Jeffs' polygamous sect are only allowed meals consisting of beans and water, an anti-polygamy activist alleges.  "We believe the children of the FLDS have been on this strange bean diet now for about six months," said K. Dee Ignatin, executive director of Americans Against Abuses of Polygamy.  To draw attention to her cause, Ignatin has put herself on a week-long "bean fast" and is sharing her experience online.  "While the children of the FLDS suffer this way we're asking you to stand with us in solidarity this week," Ignatin said in one of her daily YouTube videos documenting her fast.  On her blog she asks others to join her in eating only beans and water and to contact the offices of the attorneys general in Arizona and Utah and demand they investigate the issue.  The Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is controlled by imprisoned leader Warren Jeffs, 57, who is serving a life sentence in Texas on convictions of sexually assaulting two underage girls.  Ignatin says contacts inside the FLDS Church and others who recently left the church have confirmed that Jeffs ordered the bean and water-only diet.  "We understand the children of the FLDS are required to eat every bean put in front of them," Ignatin said.  "There are families who are so incredibly loyal to Warren Jeffs that they are sticking like glue to this beans and water diet."  Ignatin also attributes her information about the bean-exclusive meals to Ruby Jessop, who fled the FLDS Church in January with her six children.  "The children of the FLDS got no lunch today," Ignatin said.  "They do not get lunch right now; per Warren's orders they only need breakfast and dinner."     Read more
 
 
Petition alleges Attorney General John Swallow violated Utah election laws
By Dennis Romboy
Deseret News
Originally published Friday, March 8 2013

SALT LAKE CITY — Several residents filed a petition with the state Thursday seeking the removal of Attorney General John Swallow for allegedly violating Utah election laws.  The 18-page petition accuses Swallow of filing misleading or false campaign declaration and disclosure forms regarding his personal business interests; conducting campaign activities from his state office during and after business hours; and putting campaign funds to personal use.  "I believe Utahns deserve an investigation. They deserve integrity in office, so it's important to find out if any wrongdoing was done and find the reasons behind the discrepancies," said Crystal Young-Otterstrom, an Alliance for a Better Utah member.  Young-Otterstrom, president of the LDS Dems caucus, and Maryann Martindale, the alliance's executive director, along with two attorneys, delivered the document alleging a total of 12 violations to Lt. Gov. Greg Bell's office at the Capitol.  Bell is tasked with enforcing state election law and investigating alleged violations.  Swallow campaign adviser Jason Powers said Utahns for Ethical Government attorney David Irvine needs to do better research because a quick Internet search shows he identified the wrong John Swallow in two of the 12 allegations.  "Such carelessness is pervasive throughout this inaccurate and meritless complaint," Powers said in an email.  "Nonetheless, the campaign will address any questions directed to it from the lieutenant governor's office."  In an earlier statement, Swallow said he has reported everything that is required under state law.     Read more
 
 
Government heightens pressure on Jeremy Johnson
Written by Joyce Kuzmanic
Business
Dixie Press Online
Originally published March 8, 2013

ST. GEORGE – The pressure of federal action against St. George businessman Jeremy Johnson, his I Works corporation, family, friends and associates has steadily increased on several fronts, especially this week.

New criminal charges, new parties named

On Wednesday, United States attorneys filed a superseding indictment in the criminal action before Utah's central district of the United States District Court, an action first brought in June 2011 for mail fraud. The indictment charges Jeremy Johnson, his I Works corporation and four former employees of I Works with 86 criminal counts, including conspiracy, false statements to bank, a variety of fraud counts and money laundering.

Added to the criminal action are Scott Leavitt, Bryce Payne, Ryan Riddle and Loyd Johnson.

More criminal charges, more parties to be added?

On Thursday, a summons was issued on a second superseding indictment in the U.S. criminal action. That document is sealed and parties and charges are undisclosed. (Update: On March 8 a court docket modification was made removing the word "second" from this entry; thus the summons issued was on the superseding document mentioned above. As of March 12, it remains sealed.)

Prosecutors want a gag order

On Thursday, U.S. prosecutors responded to arguments against its request for a gag order in the criminal case. The requested gag order is opposed by both Johnson and the Utah Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers through a "friend of the court" filing.  The gag order contest stems from prosecutors seeking to stop Jeremy Johnson and his attorneys and unnamed persons who may not know they are a potential witness from talking to media, advancing his case via social media such as Facebook and YouTube.     Read more
 
 
Arizona House OKs bill targeting police in polygamist town of Colorado City
By BOB CHRISTIE
Associated Press
The Republic - Columbus, Indiana
Originally published March 08, 2013

PHOENIX — The state House of Representatives approved a bill Thursday targeting police in a northern Arizona polygamist community, but not before stripping it of provisions that would have immediately triggered a sheriff's department takeover.  The bill was opposed by a lawmaker from Kingman who argued it unfairly targeted Colorado City's law enforcement officers.  The original bill would have set up a process for a local police agency to be replaced by the local sheriff's office if at least half of its officers have lost their law enforcement certifications in a five-year period.  Only Colorado City met that threshold.  A marshal's office patrols that town and adjacent Hildale, Utah.  The towns are home to many members of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, an offshoot of the mainstream Mormon church, which does not practice polygamy.  The FLDS is led by Warren Jeffs, who is serving a serving a life sentence in Texas after convictions on child sex and bigamy charges.  Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne has championed versions of the bill for the past two years, saying Colorado City officers who are members of the FLDS do Jeffs' bidding and are simply replaced by other followers of Jeffs if they're removed individually.  In January, Horne said he was investigating whether marshals were preventing women from leaving the church.  Mohave County Sheriff Tom Sheahan said his agency also was involved in a criminal investigation of the FLDS and the marshal's office. He described authorities there as "security guards for the FLDS church."  "They are corrupt and work only for the FLDS and Warren Jeffs," Sheahan said in January.     Read more
 
 
AZ House OKs bill aimed at Colorado City police
By HOWARD FISCHER
Capitol Media Services
Today's News-Herald - Havasu City, Arizona
Originally published Friday, March 8, 2013

PHOENIX — State lawmakers voted Thursday to pave the way for county oversight of what one lawmakers called "rogue" police departments.  On a 52-7 margin, the House approved legislation that requires the Arizona Peace Officers Standards and Training Board to look into any police department where a certain percentage of their officers have lost their certification.  Then if that agency finds those "systemic" problems the county Board of Supervisors could, with a supermajority vote, oust the police chief and appoint a specialist to run the agency for up to four years.  Rep. John Kavanagh, R-Fountain Hills, who crafted the language, said it is not specifically aimed at Colorado City.  That city's marshal's office has in the past lost half its officers.  And that would have triggered the kind of intervention envisioned in HB 2648.  But Kavanagh pointed out this measure is prospective only.  And Rep. Michelle Ugenti, R-Scottsdale, said that should alleviate concerns that it targets one community.  "If you're cleaning up the department there's nothing you should worry about," she said.  The final language also was softened to deal with concerns.  As originally crafted the legislation would have allowed the local Board of Supervisors to automatically dissolve the local police department once half of its officers were decertified.  Kavanagh said that was inappropriate and unnecessary. This version keeps the department in place — with any officers that remain — but gives an outsider appointed by the supervisors the power to run the agency and hire and fire as he or she decides is necessary.  None of that satisfied Rep. Doris Goodale, R-Kingman.  She said that, denials aside, this is aimed at the polygamous community of Colorado City. And Goodale said such intervention is unnecessary and inappropriate.     Read more
 
 
Bill to Get Rid of FLDS-Lovin' Cops in Colorado City Gets Neutered, Passes House
By Matthew Hendley
Valley Fever
Phoenix New Times
Originally published Fri., Mar. 8 2013

A neutered version of the bill that would have gotten rid of the corrupt cops in Colorado City passed the House yesterday.  House Bill 2648 was approved by the House with a 52-7 vote, after one of the primary purposes -- disbanding the "Marshal's Office" in the polygamist town of Colorado City -- was removed from the bill.  The way Republican Representative Michelle Ugenti proposed it, local police departments could be dissolved if half of its police officers had their licenses taken away over the course of eight years -- which would've gotten rid of the "Marshal's Office."  Republican Representative John Kavanagh passed an amendment to the bill, which clarifies that this "only applies to the revocations of peace officer certifications that occur on or after the effective date of this act."  So, now the "Marshal's Office" doesn't qualify.  "Every police department has a clean slate," Kavanagh explained his amendment.  For whatever reasons, legislators couldn't agree on the original proposal last session either, even though the allegedly corrupt "marshals" on the Utah/Arizona border -- whom Attorney General Tom Horne contends are still loyal to child rapist Warren Jeffs and his Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints -- still have policing power.  Colorado City was previously patrolled only by the "Marshal's Office," which state and federal authorities believe is to be loyal to Jeffs instead of the law, so Horne supported a bill that would've gotten rid of them.     Read more
 
 
Lawmakers Approve Bill to Allow Officials to Target Police in Hildale
KUTV 2News
Originally broadcast Friday, March 8 2013

(KUTV) Lawmakers approved a bill that will allow officials to target Police in the Hildale Colorado City Polygamist community.  The bill came following allegations of corrupt police work that the Marshall's office covering that area is nothing more than a security service for the FLDS Church.  However, the bill that lawmakers in Arizona passed Thursday was altered.  The bill was stripped of a provision that would have triggered a sheriff's department takeover.  The original bill would have set up a process for a local police agency to be replaced by a sheriff’s office if half the officers lost their law enforcement certifications.     See photo
 
 
Judge removes boy from Colorado City foster home
By DAVE HAWKINS
SPECIAL TO THE LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL
Las Vegas Review Journal
Originally published March 9, 2013

KINGMAN, Ariz. — A foster father in Colorado City, Ariz., is upset a judge ordered the removal of an 11-year-old boy from his home.  Mohave County Superior Court Judge Richard Weiss directed officials to find another placement for the boy during a Wednesday hearing.  An attorney acting as the child's advocate, Deborah A. Liverence, said Weiss believed there was too much distance between the boy and his mother, who lives in Lake Havasu City, and his older brothers in a foster home in Chino Valley.  Liverence said there also is a culture shock factor associated with dispatching a boy who spent most of his life in Lake Havasu City to a remote and sparsely populated community 300 miles away.  Foster father Daniel Wayman, 54, said the boy likes his home and he has no ties to the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints or its polygamous culture.  "He's happy here. He's got friends, and he's settled in school," Wayman said.  "Moving him again after three or four months here is going to be disruptive, and that's hard on kids."
 
 
Marijuana distribution suspects to remain in custody
Written by Kevin Jenkins
The Spectrum
Originally published March 11, 2013

ST. GEORGE — Two St. George residents accused of possessing and conspiring to distribute a large quantity of marijuana were ordered to be sent to Florida in the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service during a federal court hearing in St. George on Monday.  Chad Christopher Sunyich and Jason Thomas Vowell, both 37, had asked to be able to post bail and travel to Tampa, Fla., where the case was filed, but Magistrate Judge Robert Braithwaite said he couldn't justify allowing their release when the charges and warrant originated in another jurisdiction.  The defendants can request the opportunity to post bail once they arrive in Florida, he said, pending a trial on the charges there.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Paul Kohler said he didn't know when the suspects would be transported, but they probably will be flown to Florida from Las Vegas or Salt Lake City in the near future once the USMS has enough people to merit a prisoner flight.

A middle-of-the-night flight

Sunyich and Vowell were booked into Purgatory Correctional Facility on Feb. 28 after a sealed grand jury indictment was filed in Tampa the previous week.  They were arrested after they flew into the St. George Municipal Airport in the middle of the night with a reported $166,228 in cash that authorities allege is connected to a drug transaction in Florida.  Beverly Hills, Calif.,-based attorneys Allison Margolin and J. Raza Lawrence, who specialize in marijuana criminal defense cases in the Los Angeles area, entered special appearances to argue on behalf of Sunyich's release.  Margolin told Braithwaite that a third defendant in the case, Tampa-area resident Timothy Oneal "Tall Boy" Long, was allowed to post a $50,000 surety bond to bail out of custody there, but Assistant U.S. Attorney Matthew Bell argued that "Mr. Tall Boy ... has substantial ties to that area and is viewed as a much less significant player."     Read more
 
 
Doris Goodale Won't Explain Her Defense of Colorado City's Allegedly Corrupt Police Force
By Matthew Hendley
Valley Fever
Phoenix New Times
Originally published Mon., Mar. 11 2013

For the second straight year, Republican Representative Doris Goodale strongly opposed legislation that would disband the "Marshal's Office" in the polygamist town of Colorado City, which is in her district.  Despite county, state, and federal authorities claiming misconduct in the police force there, Goodale continues to defend it, and she's refused to explain her defense to New Times.  We left a message on her phone last week, and also left a message with an aide last week.  We even called her house in Kingman, where no one picked up the phone.  We haven't heard a peep out of Goodale.  Republican Representative Michelle Ugenti proposed the legislation this session, supported by Attorney General Tom Horne, which calls for local police departments to be dissolved if half of its police officers have their certifications taken away over the course of eight years.  This would have gotten rid of the Marshal's Office.  Republican Representative John Kavanagh passed an amendment to the bill before it passed the House last week, which clarifies that this "only applies to the revocations of peace officer certifications that occur on or after the effective date of this act."  So, now the Marshal's Office doesn't qualify.  Still, we've seen Goodale defending Colorado City and its Marshal's Office.  "This is just a persecution effort because they're a polygamous community," Goodale said last week, according to Capitol Media Services.  "People don't like polygamy."  She continued to say, "It's all built on hearsay, it's all built on conjecture by the Attorney General's Office."  Gee, she failed to mention the "hearsay" and "conjecture" from the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division, which outlined several instances of alleged unconstitutional policing.  It's not like the so-called "hearsay" should be ignored, either.     Read more
 
 
Doris Goodale "Can't Explain" Opposition to Colorado City Bill, Fellow Lawmaker Says
By Matthew Hendley
Valley Fever
Phoenix New Times
Originally published Tue., Mar. 12 2013

Republican state Representative Doris Goodale "can't explain" her opposition to the bill that was proposed to disband the "Marshal's Office" in the polygamist town of Colorado City, the bill's sponsor tells New Times.  Despite county, state, and federal authorities claiming misconduct in the police force there, Goodale continues to defend it, while refusing to explain her defense to New Times.  Now, Republican Representative Michelle Ugenti tells us she doesn't understand why Goodale opposes it, either.  "If she has some comments or suggestions, I would like to hear them," Ugenti says.  "I can't mind-read."  We explained at length on Monday Goodale's refusal to explain her opposition to Ugenti's bill, supported by Attorney General Tom Horne, which calls for local police departments to be severely overhauled if half of its police officers have their certifications taken away over the course of eight years.  (A previous version of the bill would have dissolved the police department entirely.)  This bill would have applied to the Marshal's Office in the Arizona/Utah FLDS community, which used to be home to convicted child rapist Warren Jeffs.  Republican Representative John Kavanagh passed an amendment to the bill before it passed the House last week, which clarifies that every police department starts with a "clean slate," as Kavanagh explained it.  Ugenti claims this would've been the case with the original text of the bill, but the amendment just clarifies it, since it was a common concern among legislators.     Read more
 
 
Flora Jessop speaks to women's group
Ruby, kids doing well after escape
By JAYNE HANSON
Today's News-Herald - Havasu City, Arizona
Originally published Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Reporter's note: Flora Jessop spoke to the Lake Havasu Republican Women's group about House Bill 2648, which could ultimately dismantle the Marshal's Office in Colorado City. The bill, although altered from its initial presentation, recently passed 52-to-7 in the Arizona House of Representatives. One opposing vote included this district's Representative Doris Goodale, R-Kingman. Next, the initiative is to be reviewed in the Arizona Senate. A similar bill failed in Arizona during its last legislative session.

Former polygamist sect member Flora Jessop, who recently helped her sister and her sister's six children escape the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in Colorado City, in January, spoke to Lake Havasu Republican Women's group Monday at Quality Inn.  During the meeting, Jessop provided an update of her sister Ruby's progress, and the children's experiences in discovering a new world outside the sect.  To date, the family has been living with Jessop in the Phoenix area and quickly adapting to school and other new experiences.  "They are excited to come home from school because they got to learn something new today," Jessop said.  "It's so amazing to watch. They came out as silent soldiers, and they are now children."  Jessop said it was about one year ago an edict was implemented in the polygamist community, by leader Warren Jeffs, that centered on no more sexual conduct between men and women other than a handshake that could last no more than three seconds.  At that same time, another edict was implemented that required all FLDS children in that sect to be bathed one at a time, and only the fathers were allowed to bathe them.     Read more
 
 
Utah judge approves gag order on Jeremy Johnson
By BRADY McCOMBS
Associated Press
San Francisco Chronicle
Originally published Tuesday, March 12, 2013

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — A federal magistrate said Tuesday that he intends to issue a gag order against federally indicted businessman Jeremy Johnson.  U.S. Magistrate Judge Paul Warner told attorneys at the outset of a one-hour hearing that it's not a matter of if a gag order is needed — but rather working to create one that is narrowly focused and doesn't infringe on his rights to free speech.  Warner ordered attorneys from both sides to work together to finish a draft of a gag order by April 17.  The U.S. attorney's office asked that Johnson be formally muzzled after they say he used the media to "publicly besmirch the integrity" of their office.  They allege in court documents that Johnson used a blog, website, Facebook page and Salt Lake City media outlets to wrongly accuse the government and its prosecutors of misconduct.  Johnson is a St. George businessman who is facing 85 counts of fraud and money laundering.  Federal prosecutors say Johnson's businesses used the Internet to fraudulently enroll millions of people in get-rich schemes by charging their credit cards without authorization.  He was originally indicted nearly a year ago on three counts of fraud and money laundering.  Johnson has maintained his innocence.  His public notoriety skyrocketed in recent months when he came out in the media and accused newly elected Utah Attorney General John Swallow of orchestrating a bribery scheme would have derailed a federal investigation into his business practices.     Read more
 
 
No Fans Of Sister Wives At The IRS ?
Peter J Reilly, Contributor
Forbes - New York, New York
Originally published March 12, 2013

Thanks in part to "reality" TV, the practice of polygamy may be starting on the path to being normalized. Check this out. It is Kody Brown and his four wives being interviewed by Ellen DeGeneres.

Polygamy still has a way to go based on a recent IRS ruling (PLR 201310047). The ruling denied exempt status under 501(d) to an unnamed organization. The identity of recipients of private letter rulings is not disclosed and information that would help identify it is redacted. The disguise is pretty thin in the case of this ruling though. For now I will call it "The Group".

501(d) -What Is That ?

Here is a summary description of 501(d) organizations from the IRS website:
"In general, the type of organization exempt under IRC 501(d) is one organized for the purpose of operating a communal religious community where the members live a communal life following the tenets and teachings of the organization. All of the organization's property is owned in community and, each member, upon leaving, the organization, is entitled to no part of the community assets. The activities often consist of farming and manufacturing. The income of the organization goes into a community treasury and is used to defray operating expenses and the cost of supporting and maintaining the members and their families."
The Group is pretty substantial, operating eighteen companies in a variety of industries. It appears to have many of the attributes of a 501(d) organization. All members belong to "Church Y". They maintain a common treasury and under the bylaws members agree to report their share of The Group's income.

So What Is The Problem ?

The problem is polygamy. The Group argued that their practice was not strictly speaking illegal under the laws of "State 1? where The Group operated.     Read more
 
 
 
 
Read the Utah Supreme Court's Opinion of the Court ruling that Judge Denise Lindberg was wrong to modify the UEP trust as a secular entity, dated March 12, 2013
 
 
Judge erred in handling aspects of FLDS trust, high court rules
By Emiley Morgan
Deseret News
Originally published Wednesday, March 13 2013

SALT LAKE CITY — The Utah Supreme Court has ruled that the state reformation of a polygamous trust turned it into a different — and secular — entity.  In a ruling handed down Tuesday, the high court found that when the state of Utah took control of the Fundamentalist LDS Church's United Effort Plan trust in 2005, it focused on only one of two of the trust's "primary purposes."  Those purposes, as determined by 3rd District Judge Denise Lindberg, were to advance the FLDS Church's doctrines and goals while providing for the "just wants and needs" of the FLDS members.  "The district court held that although the trust could not be reformed to advance its religious purposes, it could be reformed to advance its charitable purpose to provide for UEP trust beneficiaries' 'just wants and needs,'" Justice Jill Parrish wrote.  "Using secular principles, the district court reformed the UEP trust. The purpose and provisions of the reformed trust are vastly different from those of the UEP trust."  Because of this, Parrish said Lindberg was wrong when she determined that attorneys from the law firm of Snow, Christensen and Martineau — who had represented the United Effort Plan trust — should turn over attorney-client information to the fiduciary appointed by the state to oversee the reformed trust.  The high court found that the UEP trust and reformed trust were different to the point that the reformed trust could not be seen as a continuation of the UEP trust.     Read more
 
 
Lawmakers Make Settlement Offer with Attorneys Working on FLDS Mess
by Bob Bernick
Utah Policy Contributing Editor
Utah Policy - Salt Lake City, Utah
Originally published March 14, 2013

Thursday night, just before adjournment, lawmakers made a take-it-or-leave-it offer of $5.6 million to the attorneys and others who have been working on the FLDS financial mess for the last several years.  A court judge has ordered the state to pay the group – which was originally supposed to be paid for their work out of proceeds when the polygamist group located in Hillsdale, Utah, and Colorado City, Ariz., sold off assets of the group – up to $5.6 million.  In the so-called Bill of Bills, where the 2013-1014 $13 billion budget is balanced out, is a line item that allows for $350,000 for contract attorneys to work on the case for the Attorney General.  Intent language in that appropriation says that the $5.6 million payments will be made over a year, but only if the trust administrator agrees that the $5.6 million payment is the last to be made by the state, absolving the state from any further liability in the legal/financial mess.  After the administrator/trustee collects at least $4 million from the troubled church, the trustee is to pay the advanced $4 million back to the state.  It was believed at the start of this who process that the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints -- which has nothing to do with the real LDS Church and still practices polygamy and marries underage girls to older church men – would fall under the power of legal action.  But church leaders have sued the court-appointed administer at every turn, and the process of trying to sell off the various assets, mostly land, houses and a few businesses, has stalled – leading to the court demanding that the state make some payments to the administrator and his employees.  The trustee/administrator "gets no interest, just the $5.6 million and that is the end" of the state's liability, House Majority Leader Brad Dee, R-Washington Terrace, told UtahPolicy.
 
 
Lawmakers OK law fix for AG election complaint
Written by Michelle L. Price
The Associated Press
The Spectrum
Originally published March 14, 2013

SALT LAKE CITY — A Utah Senate committee has unanimously approved last-minute legislation to fix a gap in state law so state Attorney General John Swallow will not be tasked with investigating a complaint filed against him.  Last week, a progressive political group filed a complaint with the Utah lieutenant governor's office alleging Swallow violated election law by failing to report several business interests on his campaign disclosures.  Utah law says if a complaint filed with the State Elections Office warrants an investigation, that complaint is referred to the Attorney General's Office to investigate.  "Under the current law, we have no choice but to turn the complaint over to the Attorney General's Office, even when the Attorney General is the subject of the complaint," state Director of Elections Mark Thomas said in a statement released late Wednesday night.  The state Elections Office became of aware of the conflict after reviewing the complaint and state law.  The governor's office notified lawmakers about the problem on Tuesday.  Late Wednesday night, Senate President Wayne Niederhauser, R-Sandy, announced legislation had been introduced to address the conflict.  Both the House and Senate must give final approval to the legislation before adjourning at midnight Thursday.  The proposal, which is retroactive, states that if a complaint is made about the attorney general, the lieutenant governor could bypass the attorney general's office and appoint a special counsel to investigate.     Read more
 
 
Lawmakers rush to change law that allows AG to investigate himself
By Dennis Romboy
Deseret News
Originally published Friday, March 15 2013

SALT LAKE CITY — State lawmakers will rush to change a law Thursday that allows the attorney general to investigate himself when a someone alleges violations of the Utah elections code.  After the two people filed a complaint against Attorney General John Swallow last week, the State Elections Office became aware of a gap in the law, according to elections director Mark Thomas.  The complaint also requested the appointment of special counsel to investigate the claims.  "If we determine a special investigation is necessary, the statute requires the State Elections Office to refer complaints to the attorney general's office, and further mandates that the attorney general's office investigate," Thomas said.  "Under the current law, we have no choice but to turn the complaint over to the attorney general's office, even when the attorney general is the subject of the complaint."  Senate President Wayne Niederhauser, R-Sandy, said the lieutenant governor's office, which oversees elections, brought the problem to the Legislature's attention Tuesday and "we are taking steps to correct that conflict in the statute."  Lawmakers have drafted a bill, SB289, that would allow the lieutenant governor to appoint special counsel to investigate elections complaints "when and only when" the allegations involve the attorney general.  The bill would make the law retroactive.  A Senate committee will hold a hearing on the bill at noon Thursday and intends to vote on in the afternoon or evening.     Read more
 
 
FLDS Trust Payment Approved By Legislature
KUTV 2News
Originally broadcast Friday, March 15 2013

(KUTV) In one of the final bills the legislature passed late last night, lawmakers agreed to pay almost $6 million to the State-appointed administrators of the polygamous land trust.  $5.69 million will go to Bruce Wisan's office for the work done on the UEP trust, but much of that money is considered a loan, and Wisan will have to repay it.  Wisan says he will sell assets from the trust to pay the state by the deadline of April 1, 2014.     See photo
 
 
Utah State Legislature funds FLDS trust settlement
by Ben Winslow
Fox 13 News
KSTU TV
Originally published March 15, 2013

SALT LAKE CITY — The Utah State Legislature has budgeted a $5.7 million payment to settle the ongoing legal battle over land in the polygamous border towns of Hildale, Utah, and Colorado City, Ariz.  In the "bill of bills" passed by the House and Senate in the final hours of the legislature, money was appropriated to pay lawyers and accountant fees that have racked up for years in the case involving the Fundamentalist LDS Church's United Effort Plan (UEP) Trust.  The payment also has some strings attached:
  • The state of Utah is released from any liability.
  • The court-appointed special fiduciary waives any post-judgment interest.
If they sign off on the waiver, the state will cut a $3 million check immediately and then pay off the rest over the next year.  Lawmakers expressed reservations about paying the bill, even after a court had ordered the Utah Attorney General's Office to pay for the eight-year-long legal fight.  "We are responsible to the taxpayers and we need to be able to tell them that it's an appropriate expenditure of their money," House Speaker Rebecca Lockhart, R-Provo, told FOX 13 in February.  A judge is currently considering proposals for an "exit strategy" to get the state and the courts out of the UEP mess.  In 2005, Judge Denise Lindberg took control of the UEP at the request of the attorneys general for Utah and Arizona, amid allegations that FLDS leader Warren Jeffs (then a fugitive on the FBI's Ten Most Wanted list) had been mismanaging it.     Read more
 
 
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
Legal Notices
The Spectrum
Originally published March 16, 2013

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
for the District of Nevada

Robb Evans of Robb Evans & Associates LLC, as Receiver for I Works, Inc., and other entities, etc.,
____________________
Plaintiff(s)
v.
Arvin Lee Black, II aka A. Lee Black aka A. Lee Black, Jr., et al., Sole Group, LLC and Atia Black, et al.
____________________
Defendant(s)

Civil Action No. 2:12-CV-01860-RCJ-PAL

SUMMONS IN A CIVIL ACTION
TO: Arvin Lee Black, II aka A. Lee Black aka A. Lee Black, Jr.,
2964 South Slate Ridge Circle
St. George, Utah 84790
A lawsuit has been filed against you.

Within 21 days after service of this summons on you (not counting the day you received it) - or 60 days if you are the United States or a United States agency, or an officer or employee of the United States described in Fed. R. Civ. P. 12 (a)(2) or (3) - you must serve on the plaintiff an answer to the attached complaint or a motion under Rule 12 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. The answer or motion must be served on the plaintiff or plaintiff's attorney, whose name and address are:     Read more
 
 
Legislative session
Opinion
The Spectrum
Originally published March 17, 2013

Last Thursday, after 45 grueling days, Utah's 2013 legislative session came to a close.  While a number of high profile bills saw significant debate and circulation on the hill this year, in the end, it was a legislative session that can best be summed up with a few lines of prose from Shakespeare's Macbeth.  "A poor player that struts and frets his hour upon the stage and then is heard no more: it is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing."  To be fair, in simply elevating the discussion of the issues of discrimination against gay and lesbian Utahns and Utah's arcane and irrational liquor laws, progress was made in this legislative session.  And they may have made more significant contributions to the well-being of the state of Utah through actions they failed to take like raising the food tax and handcuffing the governor on the issue of medicaid expansion.  The legislature also addressed the ethical issues dogging John Swallow, our newly elected attorney general, including prohibiting the outside lobbying work in which Swallow was engaged and creating a provision to allow for the creation of a special counsel that would be asked to investigate when election law issues arise involving the attorney general rather than having the attorney general tasked with investigating himself.  But there are also a few areas in which the legislature completely ignored some rather glaring issues that should have gotten a little more attention in this session.     Read more
 
 
Lawmakers Target Polygamous Police On Utah/Arizona Border
By Ladd Egan
KUTV 2News
Originally broadcast Monday, March 18 2013

(KUTV) After failed attempts in years past by Utah and Arizona lawmakers to disband the police force in the polygamous-controlled cities of Colorado City, Ariz., and Hildale, Utah, the Arizona Legislature is giving it another try.  Arizona lawmakers are using a softer approach this time around with House Bill 2648, which passed the House on a 52-7 vote and is currently being considered by the Senate.  The proposed legislation is designed to deal with police officer misconduct and does not specifically mention the polygamous cities.  The bill does not target the polygamous enclaves directly, lawmakers in support of the bill say, it simply sets the framework for dealing with "systemic misconduct or mismanagement" in any city's police force.  A shared Marshal's Office polices Colorado City and Hildale.  The area is home to the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints which is run by imprisoned leader Warren Jeffs.  Jeffs, 57, is serving a life sentence in Texas on convictions of sexually assaulting two underage girls.  In January, Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne called on the Arizona Legislature to pass legislation to shut down the cities' Marshal's Office.  He also made allegations that officers take orders from FLDS leaders and keep women and children captive.  "It's the biggest injustice that I know of in the State of Arizona," Horne said of the Marshal's Office.  "Women who've wanted to escape have been forcibly held by the marshals against their will."  The allegations came during a press conference Jan. 22nd in Phoenix to announce that Ruby Jessop and her six children had successfully escaped the FLDS Church.  During the press conference, the local county sheriff, whose deputies help extract Jessop from the cities, also called on lawmakers to strip the Marshal's Office of its powers.     Read more
 
 
Legislature agrees to pay $5.6M to FLDS trust managers
By Emiley Morgan
Deseret News
Originally published Monday, March 18 2013

SALT LAKE CITY — On the last day of the Utah Legislature, state lawmakers voted to pay those charged with running a polygamous trust for the state the $5.6 million they were owed.  According to SB3, the first payment, totaling $3 million, will be paid within two days of the appropriation taking effect.  Another $1 million will be paid Sept. 16 and the remaining balance will be paid March 17, 2014.  Lyle Hillyard, R-Logan and chairman of the Senate Executive Appropriations Committee, said the money was set aside with the understanding that there will be a court order confirming that the state will be released from further liability and costs.  Jeffrey Shields, who represented the state-appointed fiduciary, Bruce Wisan, said those who have been awaiting payment are "very happy" with the Legislature's approval.  "It's been frustration and patience to the max, but at the end of the day it was worth it," he said.  Since the state took over the trust in 2005, Wisan, his attorneys and others charged with managing the $110 million-plus trust have racked up $5.6 million in fees.  In a unanimous decision handed down in August, the Utah Supreme Court upheld an earlier ruling requiring the state to pay the fees until the trust's assets can be freed to pay for itself.  If those managing the trust are able to come up with $4 million from the trust to repay the state by April 1, 2014, "neither the state nor the Legislature will seek reimbursement of the remaining balance," according to the bill.  "We'll lose 1.6 million, but in light of getting out of it and not having to do anything further, it will be very helpful," Hillyard said.  "They don't get the discount if they don't pay us."     Read more
 
 
NOTICE OF TRUSTEE'S SALE
Legal Notices
The Spectrum
Originally published March 19, 2013

NOTICE OF TRUSTEE'S SALE

APN: SG-OCS-2-13  TRA: XXX  Trust No. 1331766-23  Ref: Johnson, Sharla R.  IMPORTANT NOTICE TO PROPERTY OWNER YOU ARE IN DEFAULT UNDER A DEED OF TRUST, Dated: April 23, 2003, UNLESS YOU TAKE ACTION TO PROTECT YOUR PROPERTY, IT MAY BE SOLD AT A PUBLIC SALE.  IF YOU NEED AN EXPLANATION OF THE NATURE OF THE PROCEEDING AGAINST YOU, YOU SHOULD CONTACT A LAWYER.  On April 22, 2013, at 4:30 P.M. James H. Woodall, as duly appointed Trustee under and pursuant to Deed of Trust recorded on April 24, 2003, as Inst. No. 00815890, in book 1540, at pages 1803-1817, of Official Records in the office of the County Recorder of Washington County, State of Utah, executed by Sharla R. Johnson, a married woman as her sole and separate property, WILL SELL AT PUBLIC AUCTION TO HIGHEST BIDDER, PAYABLE IN LAWFUL MONEY OF THE UNITED STATES AT THE TIME OF SALE, (SUCCESSFUL BIDDERS MUST TENDER A DEPOSIT OF $20,000 IN CERTIFIED FUNDS TO THE TRUSTEE AT THE TIME OF SALE, WITH THE BALANCE DUE BY NOON THE FOLLOWING BUSINESS DAY, AT THE OFFICE OF THE TRUSTEE), At the front steps of the main entrance of the Washington County District Court, 206 West Tabernacle, St. George, Utah, all right, title and interest conveyed to and now held by it under said Deed of Trust in the property situated in said County and State described as: All of Lot Thirteen (13), Oak Creek Subdivision - Phase 2, according to the official plat thereof, on file in the office of the recorder of Washington County, State of Utah.  The street address and other common designation, if any, of the real property described above is purported to be: 1626 West Chateau Circle, St. George, UT 84770. Estimated Total Debt as of April 22, 2013, is $314,282.37.     Read more
 
 
Michelle Ugenti's Anti-Colorado City Bill Gets No Love from State Senate
By Stephen Lemons
Blogs
Phoenix New Times
Originally published Wed., Mar. 20 2013

If more than two-thirds of the state House votes in favor of a bill that would rein in corruption in local police forces, you would anticipate that the proposed legislation at least would receive a hearing in the state Senate, wouldn't you?  Not in the case of House Bill 2648, which would create a complex mechanism by which an out-of-control law enforcement agency could be decertified by the Arizona Peace Officers Standards and Training Board, and taken over by a law enforcement administrator appointed by a county board of supervisors.  Sponsored by Republican Representative Michelle Ugenti, the bill was meant to address problems with the Hildale-Colorado City Marshal's Office, which patrols both Colorado City and Hildale on the Arizona-Utah border, a twin city notorious for its association with the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.  The tiny police force of six men has been accused of protecting polygamists, preventing "plural wives" from leaving their husbands, and being an instrument of intimidation close to the FLDS cult.  According to the Salt Lake Tribune's "polygamy blog," six officers in the marshal's office, including a chief, have been decertified by POST over the years for everything from bigamy and marrying underage girls to writing to FLDS leader and convicted child rapist Warren Jeffs in prison.  A provision of the bill requiring POST to investigate a police agency of ten persons or less when 50 percent of the force has been decertified, could apply to the Colorado City force.  But the bill is not retroactive and would only be triggered if 50 percent of that force were decertified over the next five years.  The bill is far from perfect, though improved from a similar bill run last year, which some deemed "special legislation" and thus prohibited by the Arizona Constitution.  The bill failed in the House by three votes.     Read more
 
 
Jeffs' compound to be auctioned
Hildale property to be sold April 25
Written by Spectrum staff and wire reports
The Spectrum
Originally published March 20, 2013

A Hildale compound belonging to imprisoned polygamist leader Warren Jeffs will be auctioned off in April to help pay a judgment awarded to a former spokesman for the sect Jeffs led.  The 6-acre complex is reported to be worth about $2.65 million, includes at least three house and a "storehouse annex," and is surrounded by a 12-foot wall.  The Salt Lake Tribune reported that the April 25 auction in St. George will allow the public to bid on the complex.  According to documents filed in 5th District Court, the Washington County Sheriff has been ordered to "seize and sell" property belonging to Jeffs and his family to help pay a $30 million judgment awarded to Willie Jessop, a former spokesman for the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.  Jessop sued Jeffs and other FLDS leaders, alleging they arranged a break-in at his business, where several computers, hard drives and other property were stolen.  The FLDS leaders did not respond to the suit and a judge awarded Jessop with the judgment.  Jeffs is serving life in prison in Texas after he was convicted of sexually assaulting two of his underage brides.  Neil Walter of NAI Commercial Real Estate Services in St. George said it is likely that the property will be purchased by people already within the Hildale-Colorado City community.  "If there's no one within the community who wants to buy the property, it might be a challenge to sell," Walter said.  "The most likely bidder will be someone within the community who wants to preserve it or someone who has strong ties there. A disinterested third party doesn't seem likely."   The compound is one of the few privately held properties in the area. Most of the other properties in the area are in the control of a trust that is currently managed by the state of Utah.
 
 
Ex-FLDS Man Forces Auction Of Jeffs' 'Porn Palace'
By Ladd Egan
KUTV 2News
Originally broadcast Wednesday, March 20 2013

(KUTV) A judge has ordered a mansion and other buildings built for imprisoned polygamous sect leader Warren Jeffs be auctioned off to pay a judgment.  Jeffs, 57, is head of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.  He is serving a life sentence in Texas on convictions of sexually assaulting two underage girls.  The large multi-acre compound, located in Hildale, Utah, is owned by Jeffs' family. Washington County property records indicate the property has a market value of $2,658,400.  The sheriff's auction is scheduled for April 25th on the steps of the Fifth Judicial District Courthouse in St. George.  Proceeds from the sale will go towards the $30 million owed to former FLDS member Willie Jessop.  Jessop says members of the church underwent tremendous sacrifice to build the mansion for Jeffs, "believing that we were involved in a very sacred and holy project only to find later that it was being used to build basically a glorified porn palace."  Jessop, who used to act as Jeffs' bodyguard, legal defense liaison, and church spokesperson, sued Jeffs and other FLDS leaders alleging they destroyed his excavating business.  "They ordered a midnight raid in taking all of the files, everything out of the office, gutting it," Jessop said.  Jessop says the raid on his business came after he discovered and verified audio recordings of Jeffs sexually abusing young girls.     Read more
 
 
 
Inside the monster's lair: Compound belonging to polygamous sect leader Warren Jeffs to be sold for $2.65 million
  • 6.1 acre property in Hildale, Utah, is being sold as part of legal settlement
  • Willie Jessop sued collection of FLDS members for alleged break-in
  • FLDS did not respond so judge awarded $30million default sum
  • The walled property is thought to include three bricked properties
  • Mr Jessop's attorney said he could bid for the property using fee
By Daily Mail Reporter
Daily Mail - London, England
Originally published 21 March 2013

A compound belonging the leader of one of America's largest polygamous sects is to be sold at auction.  Warren Jeffs's 6.1 acre property in Hildale could fetch up to $2.65 million when it goes up for sale on April 25.  Jeffs, who is still thought to lead the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (FLDS), is in prison in Texas, having been jailed for life after convictions for child sex abuse and bigamy.  The sale has been instigated to raise money for a legal settlement involving the FLDS.  Willie Jessop, a former spokesman of the FLDS sued a group of the sect's leaders, including Jeffs and his brother Lyle Jeffs, and was eventually awarded a $30 million default judgement.  Mr Jessop alleged that the FLDS members broke into his business premises, stealing a range of property including computers and hard drives.  He also claimed to have been blackmailed, said he had been excommunicated and claimed that he had been forced to lie for Warren Jeffs.  When the sect leaders failed to respond, a fifth district judge awarded the default settlement, with the auction contributing to the sum.  Jessop, who was once a staunch defender of Jeffs, left after the church after the child sex abuse allegations against the sect's leader surfaced.  Mr Jessop could make a bid for the property himself, according to his attorney Mark James, who said that could use part of the legal settlement to bid for it.  The property, which will be auctioned on the steps of the Washington County Courthouse in St. George, was built in 2010 and 2011 in polygamous Utah town twinned with Colorado City, Arizona.  It is believed to have been built while Jeffs was awaiting trial, with his wives and family apparently moving in after his release from custody.  The property is surrounded by 12ft walls, with three brick properties visible inside.  It is located next to a number of FLDS buildings, including the FLDS clinic.     Read more
 
 
Attorneys want to move civil rights case to St. George
Written by Associated Press
The Spectrum
Originally published March 21, 2013

COLORADO CITY — Attorneys for polygamous towns on the Arizona-Utah border are renewing a request to move a civil rights case out of Arizona.  U.S. District Court Judge H. Russel Holland denied a previous request from attorneys representing Colorado City, Ariz. and Hildale.  The U.S. Department of Justice has sued the towns, alleging they supported a campaign of intimidation against former members of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and denied them services.  Attorneys for the towns want the case transferred to Utah.  They say 80 percent of the witnesses live within 100 miles of St. George, and having them travel to Prescott would be costly and burdensome.  Holland has said the travel costs to Prescott will be insignificant compared to the overall cost of litigating the case.
 
 
Pertussis outbreak hits Colorado City
Daily News staff
Mohave Daily News
Originally published Thursday, March 21, 2013

COLORADO CITY — More than 100 confirmed cases of pertussis — commonly known as whooping cough — have been reported in the Colorado City area, according to Mohave County Sup. Buster Johnson.  Johnson, not the county health department, disclosed the outbreak in a press release he sent to area news organizations.  The release states that "a few cases" of pertussis had been confirmed in Kingman, Bullhead City and Lake Havasu City, but that "there have been 114 confirmed cases in the Colorado City area with 16 new cases in the last two weeks along."  Pertussis is a high contagious bacterial disease. Symptoms usually include a persistent cough, often times followed by vomiting.  It is potentially deadly — estimates by the World Health Organization blame pertussis for nearly 295,000 deaths annually worldwide.  The coughing can become so violent that it causes other medical problems, such as hemorrhages, rib fractures, hernias and fainting.  Johnson nor the health department disclosed the severity of the reported cases, although the supervisor noted the potential risk an outbreak poses.  "While pertussis can be annoying for adults, if not treated properly it can be deadly for children, especially newborns," he said.  "I would advise parents and grandparents visiting newborns to take extra precaution."  The most effective way to prevent pertussis is through vaccination with DTaP for infants and children and with Tdap for preteens, teens and adults.  Protection from the childhood vaccine fades over time, requiring revaccination in adulthood.  Johnson advised anyone with questions or concerns regarding pertussis to contact the Mohave County Public Health Department at 928-753-0743.
 
 
FLDS allegedly forcing parents to give up children
Jason Ferguson
Custer County Chronicle
Originally published Thursday, March 21st, 2013

A recent defector from the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (FLDS) said she and her family walked away from an FLDS compound in Utah due to fears of being separated from each other.  In a Notice of Filing Declaration filed Feb. 14 in the Fifth Judicial District Court, Washington County, State of Utah, plaintiff Suzette Steed filed for a temporary restraining order from Warren Jeffs, the self-proclaimed "prophet" of the FLDS, and other FLDS members, Lyle Jeffs, Lynda Peine and Patricia Peine.  In the filing, Steed said she took her six daughters and fled her home in Short Cree, after she feared that she was about to have one or more of her children taken from her.  Earlier in the day, her oldest daughter, who is a member of the FLDS' "United Order" (UO), attended a church meeting only for UO members and was further instructed by Lyle Jeffs, who is the Bishop of Short Creek.  What her oldest daughter told her when she returned home helped she and her daughters—ages 6 to 17—make the final decision to leave immediately.  "My oldest daughter was shaking in fear as she told us that in addition to sacrificing all worldly possession, those admitted into the UO would now be required to cease all contact with everyone who had not qualified," the court document says.  That means completely ending all relationships with any parent, child or sibling who had not been admitted into the UO.     Read more
 
 
Yvonne Hammon (1928 - 2013)
Obituary
The Spectrum
Originally published March 22, 2013

Yvonne Dockstader Hammon

Yvonne Dockstader Hammon passed away Sunday, March 17, 2013 at her home in Colorado City, Arizona. She was born November 17, 1928 in Soda Springs, Idaho to Theral Ray Dockstader and Leah Killpack Dockstader.

She moved with her parents to Colorado City and assisted in establishing a community in a pioneer era. She was married to Jonathon Marion Daunt Hammon on January 12, 1944 and centered her life on building a strong family.

She attended business school and worked throughout her life in a professional setting. Yvonne moved to Albuquerque, New Mexico in 1955 and spent several years there before returning to Colorado City. She achieved a degree from Mohave Community College and worked for some 20 years in the Special Education Department at the Colorado City Public School. She contributed her time and efforts to special events at the Colorado City Academy.

Her first love was family and home. She enjoyed working with people and had an exceptional talent for organization and creating beauty in the home. She was a loyal and trustworthy friend to her family and associates. Yvonne's primary focus was supporting the profession of her husband. Her strength and support will be greatly missed.     Read more
 
 
Polygamous family working toward 'normal' visits
Written by Kevin Jenkins
The Spectrum
Originally published March 22, 2013

ST. GEORGE — A 5th District Court judge praised the estranged members of a polygamous family for working toward more normalized parental visits with their children Friday in the wake of an acrimonious battle over the husband's ouster from the family's church two years ago.  "We are making small steps, but we are heading in the right direction," Judge James Shumate said at the conclusion of the hearing to review how the six children were responding to the split among their parents.  Shumate said the court's primary goal is to equalize the parents' involvement with their children, regardless of any rift that may exist relating to their religion.  Colorado City resident Lorin Holm sued his two "spiritual wives" and leaders of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in late 2011, claiming his wives were under the influence of the church's leaders to such an extent the children were at risk.  Holm's allegations were founded in large part on information he received after his expulsion from the FLDS church about church leaders who were convicted of child sexual abuse in Texas that year, including prophet-leader Warren Jeffs, who is now serving a life sentence in prison.  Shumate declined to interfere with the Constitutionally protected religious beliefs held by the members of the family, but gave Holm authority to begin visiting his children at their mothers' Hildale residence.     Read more
 
 
Kathleen Jessop (1945 - 2013)
Obituary
The Spectrum
Originally published March 27, 2013

Hildale Utah: Kathleen Bradshaw Jessop, 67, celebrated her last on March 24, 2013. She made her grand entrance April 11, 1945 in Price, Utah to Cyril and Luella Cox Bradshaw. She married Joseph Lyman Jessop III (J.L.) on March 22, 1963. She had many children, but gave birth to 11: Becka (Mark Emack) Jessop, LeAnna (William) Cooke, Joseph (Donia) Jessop, Shirlee Draper, Lorin (Hilda) Jessop, Lucille Jessop, Bradley (Bridgette) Jessop, Mark (Rachel) Jessop, Marjorie (Louis) Barlow, Jaymes Jessop and Samuel (JaeLyn) Jessop. She also had many "adopted" children who called her Mom, or more affectionately, Gramzi.

Kathy was best described as dynamic, vivacious and talented. She lived every single moment to its maximum capacity. She had a sense of humor that was only exceeded by her musical expression. She was a pillar of music in her community, writing music, operettas, and thousands of original songs. She also played the oboe, because, as she put it, "It was an ill wind that few blew well." She taught piano and voice lessons, and led a community chorale. Her choral vocal groups performed in venues across the north Americas. She was part of almost every musical event and program in her community. Her talents reached to Southern Utah University, where she wrote several songs for their original version of Scrooge. Her music will live on forever.     Read more
 
 
Ex-FLDS Security: Public Cameras Used to Spy on Polygamous Towns
By Ladd Egan
KUTV 2News
Originally broadcast Wednesday, March 27 2013

(KUTV) Attorneys for cities on the Utah/Arizona border disagree with assertions from former security workers that city-owned cameras are used by Warren Jeffs' polygamous sect to keep tabs on members and outsiders.  The twin cities of Colorado City, Ariz., and Hildale, Utah are headquarters for the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.  "We knew the city was helping us with those cameras," said Guy Timpson, who says he was part of an elite security team under the direction of FLDS leaders.  Cameras mounted on public buildings, private businesses and homes are all connected on a fiber optics network and available to the FLDS church, according to Timpson.  "We literally could look right into their windows," Timpson said of certain homes they were instructed to watch using the cameras.  "Those lenses are powerful, they zoom far; you can pull license plates half a mile away."  Timpson, who has since left the FLDS church, said he worked in the control room for the complex system of cameras as recently as 2010.  "There were approximately 30 monitors," Timpson said while describing the control room.  "As things went down, we documented everything we saw."     Read more
 
 
 
Barlow sentenced to probation
By JIM SECKLER
Mohave Daily News
Originally published Sunday, March 31, 2013

KINGMAN — One of two former Colorado City officials who were charged with the misuse of public money was sentenced Friday morning in Superior Court to probation.  Former Colorado City Fire Chief Jacob Leonard Barlow pleaded guilty in February to two counts of solicitation of misuse of public money. He had been charged with 29 counts in one case and 20 counts in another case including violating the duties as custodian of public funds and participating in a criminal syndicate.  Barlow's attorney, Bill Porter, said there was no element of greed and the bank account was not one for personal profit.  He also said other fire districts have done the same thing and his client is the only one in the state to have been charged with the crime.  The defense attorney also said there was no evidence of misuse.  Deputy Mohave County Attorney James Schoppman countered that other fire districts do not use an outside account for personal business such as travel expenses and buying gift cards.  Other fire districts use accounts for payroll and specific purposes for that fire district.  Schoppman previously said that in January and December 2007, he and his co-defendant Colorado City Manager David William Darger, deposited $24,000 and $28,000 respectively into an unauthorized account at a St George, Utah bank.  Colorado City is home to the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints church.     Read more
 
 
Officials get probation in FLDS-swayed city
Corruption case ends in plea deals
By Dave Hawkins Special to the Standard-Times
San Angelo Standard-Times
Originally published April 1, 2013

KINGMAN, Ariz. — A public-fund corruption case in the northern Arizona community of Colorado City is concluding in lenient fashion.  It's another example of limited success in various prosecutions in the predominantly polygamous community heavily influenced by the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.  The sect is headed by Warren Jeffs, who is serving prison time in Texas for sexually assaulting 12- and 15-year-old girls who were called his spiritual brides, and is connected to the Yearning for Zion Ranch in Schleicher County, 45 miles south of San Angelo and also owned by the FLDS.  The exhaustive investigation, which produced dozens of criminal charges alleging misuse of public money from the Colorado City Fire District, is ending in plea agreements allowing the defendants to earn misdemeanor convictions for felony offenses upon completion of probation.  Original allegations of blatant misappropriation of tax district dollars for gifts, travel and meals are reduced to convictions for illegal transfer of money from the primary CCFD bank account to another bank in St. George, Utah.  Former CCFD Chief Jake Barlow, 56, and former CCFD Secretary-Treasurer David Darger, 43, are both convicted of two counts each of solicitation of misuse of public moneys in separate plea agreements.  Darger pleaded guilty Friday, the same day that Barlow was sentenced in the near-identical deals.     Read more
 
 
Board allocates flood control dollars to cities
Bullhead City gets $1 million in funding
By JIM SECKLER
Mohave Daily News
Originally published Wednesday, April 3, 2013

KINGMAN — Bullhead City was allocated more than $1 million under a new allocation formula for the annual distribution of flood control district dollars.  For the 2012-13 fiscal year, Bullhead City will receive $1,091,125, almost 14.8 percent in district tax funds.  Kingman will get $798,384 and Lake Havasu City was allocated more than $2.1 million.  Colorado City will get more than $31,000.  Sitting as the board of directors for the flood control district, the county supervisors allocated almost $7.4 million overall to the four cities and the unincorporated areas of the county for the 2012-13 fiscal year.  The cities would get more than $4 million (54.8 percent) and the unincorporated areas would get more than $3.3 million (45.4 percent).  At their March meeting, the supervisors approved implementing the new formula to allocate 80 percent of revenue collected for the flood control district money, which will be divided proportionally to revenue that is collected and sent to the four cities and the unincorporated areas of the county.  The remaining 20 percent will be used to operate the county flood control district.  Flood control projects in Bullhead City include Montana Wash and Havasupai Wash improvements.  Other projects include on Silver Creek Road and washes and drainages throughout the city.  County property owners pay 50 cents per $100 assessed value of a home for the county's flood control district.  Total assessed value of property in Bullhead City is approximately $285.5 million, and almost $2 billion for the entire county.
 
 
Warren Jeffs Still Calling the Shots From Prison?
By Amy Robach
ABC News
Originally broadcast April 4, 2013

ABC News' Amy Robach reports:

Five years have passed since hundreds of women and children were herded onto buses during the raid of the Yearning for Zion Ranch near Eldorado, Texas.  The charge against Warren Jeffs – the president of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints – was sexual abuse of underage girls.  After an intensive trial, Jeffs, a man who married more than 80 women, was convicted on two counts of sexual assault against two girls, ages 12 and 15, and sentenced to life in prison.  But despite his conviction and subsequent incarceration, 8,000 people who reside in the Yearning for Zion Ranch still call him their prophet and are wary of outsiders.  From behind prison walls, Jeffs continues to issue edicts.  "At home, you couldn't have any toys. You couldn't ride bikes, either," Nelli Steed, 6, whose mother was banished from the church, told ABC News.  Among his commands was a requirement that 15 men father all the children in the community, according to former members.  Some believe Jeffs wants control over the children. He claims he's having revelations from God about who to banish from the community.  Andrew Chatwin, a former FLDS member who is one of a group of individuals trying to help families cast out by Jeffs, told ABC News that many families are also going hungry, ordered by Jeffs to eat only beans and water, allegedly because the church is strapped for cash.     Read more
 
 
 
Horne wants taxpayer funds to maintain patrol presence
By HOWARD FISCHER
Capitol Media Services
Today's News-Herald - Havasu City, Arizona
Originally published April 9, 2013

PHOENIX — Rebuffed in his bid for oversight of Colorado City marshals, Attorney General Tom Horne now wants taxpayer funds for another police agency to patrol the polygamous community.  Horne figures he needs about $420,000 to give to the Mohave County Sheriff's Department to maintain a presence in the town on the Arizona-Utah border.  He said without such outside oversight, the town marshals will continue to be used as an arm of the Fundamentalist Church of Latter-Day Saints.  There is precedent for such funding: Horne dug that much out of his own budget this fiscal year to pay overtime for sheriff's deputies.  But the attorney general said he does not have that kind of cash lying around for the new budget year that begins July 1.  The request comes after Sen. Chester Crandell, R-Heber, refused to hear a House-passed bill which would have required the Arizona Peace Officers Standards and Training Board to look into any police department where a certain percentage of their officers have lost their certification.  Then if that agency finds those "systemic" problems the county Board of Supervisors could, with a supermajority vote, oust the police chief and appoint a specialist to run the agency for up to four years.  Officially, HB 2684 identifies no community.  But everyone on both sides of the issue made it clear during House debate that it is designed to be a first step toward outside control of the Colorado City marshal's office.  Crandell told Capitol Media Services Monday he would not give the bill a hearing in the Senate Committee on Public Safety despite its 52-7 approval by the House.  Crandell said he's not convinced that this is a realistic solution.     Read more
 
 
Attorney General Swallow files response to alleged election violations
By Dennis Romboy
Deseret News
Originally published Tuesday, April 9 2013

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah Attorney General John Swallow filed a response with the lieutenant governor's office Tuesday to allegations that he violated state election laws.  Swallow did not make the document public but according to his office left that decision to the lieutenant governor's office, which oversees state elections.  Mark Thomas, chief deputy lieutenant governor and state elections director, said his office would review the response to determine whether it's a public record.  He said if it doesn't hinder a review or investigation of the case, it would be released.  If the office determines it could impact the investigation, it would not released, at least not immediately, he said.  The Deseret News submitted a request to the elections office for the response under the state's Government Records Access and Management Act. The Alliance for a Better Utah filed an 18-page petition last month accusing Swallow of filing misleading or false campaign declaration and disclosure forms regarding his personal business interests; conducting campaign activities from his state office during and after business hours; and putting campaign funds to personal use.  In an earlier statement, Swallow said he has reported everything that is required under state law.  His campaign adviser Jason Powers has called the complaint inaccurate and without merit.  Salt Lake attorney David Irvine, who is among those filing the complaint, said he hasn't heard anything from the elections office and was unaware Swallow's lawyers were filing a written response.     Read more
 
 
Johnson pleads not guilty to fraud
Four associates also enter not-guilty pleas
Written by Associated Press
The Spectrum
Originally published April 10, 2013

SALT LAKE CITY — A Utah businessman accused of running a $350 million fraud scheme has pleaded not guilty to 86 counts of fraud and money laundering.  Jeremy Johnson entered the plea in U.S. District Court in Salt Lake City on Wednesday.  Four of his business associates — Scott Leavitt, Bryce Payne, Ryan Riddle and Loyd Johnston — also pleaded not guilty at the arraignment.  Federal prosecutors have accused Johnson, 37, of using his Internet-based businesses to fraudulently enroll millions of people in get-rich schemes by charging their credit cards without authorization.  During his hour and half arraignment Wednesday, Johnson sat next to his attorney and listened intently to the proceedings, sometimes holding his chin in one hand.  A federal grand jury issued a new indictment against the St. George businessman last month after he rejected a plea bargain in January.  Johnson, who previously had just three counts, faces 86 charges under the new indictment.  It had previously been reported that he would face 85 counts.  If convicted, Johnson could face decades in prison and millions in fines.  The new indictment also added the four business associates who weren't previously defendants in the case.  Media attention to Johnson's case skyrocketed in recent months after he accused Utah Attorney General John Swallow of orchestrating a high-level bribery scheme to derail a federal investigation.  Swallow has denied the allegations.  Johnson and the other four defendants are not being held in custody but are barred from traveling outside the continental United States pending a trial.     Read more
 
 
Jeremy Johnson, associates plead not guilty to 86-count fraud indictment
By Dennis Romboy
Deseret News
Originally published Wednesday, April 10 2013

SALT LAKE CITY — One-time multimillionaire Jeremy Johnson and four associates pleaded not guilty in federal court Wednesday to dozens of fraud charges involving his former Internet marketing company.  The U.S. Attorney's Office filed the charges after a proposed plea agreement with the St. George businessman on an earlier fraud charge fell apart in January.  In addition to Johnson, the 86-count indictment names Scott Leavitt, Bryce Payne, Ryan Riddle and Loyd Johnston, all of whom were executives at Johnson's once-thriving online enterprise, iWorks.  Charges include conspiracy, bank fraud, wire fraud and money laundering.  The alleged crimes carry prison terms ranging from five to 30 years.  Due to the volume of evidence expected in the case — 55 terabytes according to one defense attorney — U.S. Magistrate Judge Paul Warner did not set a trial date.  Rather, he scheduled a status hearing in June.  "This is a complex case," said Ed Wall, who represents Payne.  None of the defendants or their attorneys would comment outside the courtroom.  Warner earlier advised Johnson, his lawyers and prosecutors not to speak to the media pending his ruling on a gag order proposed in Johnson's previous case.  "Whether I like it or not, that's just the way it is," Johnson said.  Riddle earlier called the charges a "vendetta" against Johnson.     Read more
 
 
Jeremy Johnson, associates in court on federal fraud charges
by Brittany Green-Miner and Kelly Chapman
Fox 13 News
KSTU TV
Originally broadcast April 10, 2013

SALT LAKE CITY – A southern Utah businessman at the center of a scandal involving the new Utah attorney general was in court Wednesday on federal fraud charges.  Prosecutors say Jeremy Johnson, through his web company I Works, fooled customers into giving him credit card information to pay shipping for a free compact disc, then I Works took those cards and started charging customers monthly.  Banks got so many demands for money back, they blacklisted I Works and Jeremy Johnson with a process called MATCH, or Member Alert to Control High Risk Merchants.  Prosecutors say that instead of fixing their business practices, the defendants used friends and family names to create dummy corporations, and continued fraudulent practices.  Johnson, I Works, and his associates Ryan Riddle, Scott Leavitt, Bryce Payne and Loyd Johnston now face dozens of charges, including conspiracy, bank fraud, wire fraud and money laundering.  Many of those charges are felonies and, if convicted, the men could be behind bars for years and face millions of dollars in fines.  Johnson gained attention in Utah after alleging that Utah Attorney General John Swallow helped broker a deal that attempted to bribe top lawmakers to make those fraud charges go away.  Swallow denies any illegal activities.  In court on Wednesday, all five men pleaded not guilty to the 86 listed charges.  They have been placed under a gag order and are unable to speak in detail about the case.  "We have a lot to say. I wish we could talk to you," Leavitt said after leaving court on Wednesday.  A status conference is set for June 13.
 
 
 
Property tax sale deadline looms
UEP parcels among those affected
Written by Kevin Jenkins
The Spectrum
Originally published April 10, 2013

ST. GEORGE — Washington County residents struggling to pay past-due property taxes are approaching a deadline to forgo the forced sale of their properties.  More than 300 properties were still in five-year delinquency status as of Wednesday and in danger of going to sale May 23 for unpaid taxes, County Clerk and Auditor Kim Hafen said.  About a tenth of those properties still facing forced sale are parcels owned by the United Effort Plan, a trust managing lands occupied by polygamous members or former members of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.  Hafen said he wasn't sure how many UEP parcels were flagged as delinquent at the beginning of the budget year.  Tax-delinquent property owners, including UEP parcel residents, have been part of a daily stream of visitors paying off their debts at the treasurer's office, said Deputy County Treasurer Rinda Hunter.  But Hafen said 34 of the approximately 320 accounts remaining Wednesday were for UEP lands.  Bruce Wisan, the court-appointed special fiduciary attempting to keep the UEP solvent since the state took control of the charitable trust away from the FLDS church in 2005, drew attention to the property tax delinquency in a report to the 3rd District Court dated April 2.  Wisan stated virtually all UEP parcels in Washington County were facing possible sale because taxes had not been paid since 2008.  "I know a lot of (the residents) have come in and paid (since then), but I don't know what percentage of them is left," County Commissioner Alan Gardner said Wednesday.  "We're pretty sure somebody will step up and make the payments. ... We're just waiting to see what happens."     Read more
 
 
Funding Needed To Watch Polygamous Police
By Ladd Egan
KUTV 2News
Originally broadcast Thursday, April 11 2013

(KUTV) Money is running out to pay county sheriff's deputies to patrol the polygamous community of Colorado City, forcing Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne to ask lawmakers for funding.  Last summer, Horne allocated nearly $500,000 in discretionary funds to pay the Mohave County Sheriff's Department to station deputies in the city on the Arizona/Utah border.  But that money will run out at the end of June, and Horne's office says they don't have the funds to continue.  The presence of the county deputies is in addition to law enforcement already provided by a shared Marshal's Office of Colorado City, Arizona and its twin city Hildale, Utah.  The area is home to the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints which is run by imprisoned-prophet Warren Jeffs.  The 57-year-old leader is serving a life sentence in Texas for sexually assaulting underage girls.  "Here they think God's law," said Colorado City resident and ex-FLDS Isaac Wyler of the local police force.  "They're literally a security arm of the church."  Just last week, Wyler said he called 911 when someone tried crashing into his truck.  Wyler said the person driving the truck was trying to illegally enter property that Wyler had been asked to monitor.  "They just headed straight for me in their truck," Wyler said.  "I just floored it as hard as I could; just barely avoided an accident."  He followed the car and says he got video of it running numerous stop signs.  He passed along the license plate number and offered the video to the Marshal's office, but says they wouldn't help.     Read more
 
 
 
Utah AG says complaint should be dismissed
Swallow claims campaign forms are accurate
Written by Associated Press
The Spectrum
Originally published April 12, 2013

SALT LAKE CITY — A campaign disclosure complaint filed against Attorney General John Swallow should be dismissed because it "lacks sufficient merit to be worthy of serious consideration," Swallow's personal attorneys said in a response filed with the state elections office.  Swallow's lawyers said the attorney general filled out his 2012 election forms accurately and truthfully and said parts of the election complaint filed by a progressive political group appear to involve a case of mistaken identity.  The Alliance for a Better Utah filed a complaint in March that alleged Swallow failed to report several business interests on his campaign disclosure forms last year.  The lieutenant governor's office, which oversees elections, released Swallow's official response to the complaint on Friday after The Associated Press and other media outlets filed public records requests.  Lt. Gov. Greg Bell's office is still reviewing the complaint.  If Bell determines the complaint warrants further investigation, he can appoint special counsel to investigate.  Mark Thomas, Utah's director of elections, said his office hasn't determined what potential penalty would apply if it's found that Swallow did violate any state election laws.  The complaint alleges Swallow hid $23,500 in business income from campaign disclosures.  That money is at the center of bribery allegations made by a Utah businessman who faces 85 charges of Internet fraud.  Jeremy Johnson has said he enlisted Swallow to help make a federal investigation go away.  By his account, Swallow hooked him up with a paycheck-loan operator who was supposed to hire lobbyists or arrange a bribe.     Read more
 
 
A.G. John Swallow seeks dismissal of election violations complaint
By Dennis Romboy
Deseret News
Originally published Friday, April 12 2013

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah Attorney General John Swallow wants a petition alleging he violated state election laws dismissed, saying it's politically motivated and without merit.  The lieutenant governor's office Friday released Swallow's response to the complaint filed last month by the Alliance for a Better Utah.  The group claims Swallow filed misleading or false campaign declaration and disclosure forms regarding his personal business interests; conducted campaign activities from his state office during and after business hours; and put campaign funds to personal use.  The group wants Swallow removed from office.  In the nine-page response, lawyers for Swallow argue that his disclosure forms were filed in good faith and were true and accurate to the best of his understanding.  Attorneys Rodney Snow and Jennifer James also say the petition errs on two of its 12 counts because it refers to two people named John Swallow who are not the attorney general — "an error which was easily discoverable by a simple Google search."  Snow and James contend the complaint lacks sufficient merit to be worthy of serious consideration and needs no further investigation.  "It appears the petition may have been media and politically motivated," they wrote.     Read more
 
 
Takeover of polygamous community beset by conflict
By Paul Foy
Associated Press
Deseret News
Originally published Saturday, April 13 2013

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah filed a plan Friday for appointing a board of trustees that will turn homes, land and farms owned by a polygamous sect into private ownership.  State lawyers, however, told a judge that recruiting qualified board members will be difficult in a pair of towns on the Utah-Arizona border roiled by defections and split loyalties inside the Fundamentalist LDS Church.  They said it could take the rest of the year to select a board to get started.  Third District Judge Denise Lindberg in Salt Lake City expressed frustration over the slow pace of Utah's 8-year-old takeover of FLDS assets in Hildale, Utah, and Colorado City, Ariz.  Progress has been set back by conflicting claims over the same properties, a raft of litigation, disputes over water rights and agricultural leases and the refusal of residents to pay occupancy fees or taxes to court-appointed officials, the judge said.  "I would like to be able to get out of this business," Lindberg said Friday in court.  "This is not how I envisioned my judicial career proceeding."  Lindberg didn't immediately approve the plan for selecting trustees that was filed only minutes before Friday's court hearing.  The plan got input from state lawyers for Arizona and Bruce Wisan, the Salt Lake City accountant appointed to liquidate church property, Wisan said.  Residents say no progress will be made until Utah breaks down large parcels holding multiple homes and assigns property to individual owners.     Read more
 
 
My three wives
Society has come a long way toward accepting gay marriage. Could the same ever be true for my polygamous family?
By Joe Darger
Salon - San Francisco, California
Originally published Saturday, Apr 13, 2013

Lately, the debate about gay marriage has led to many conversations about what makes a marriage and who can have one. It's an interesting question for me because I'm married to three women. I've written a book about our family, and my wives have appeared on "Oprah." We weren't always this open; for years we lived in secrecy and shame – afraid that people would find out, afraid of losing jobs and friendships. But we grew tired of the silence, and it became our mission to help people understand our way of life. Recent stories have wondered if the acceptance of gay marriage could lead to a better understanding of polygamy. I don't know the answer – but I certainly hope so.

Plural marriage, as we call it, has always been a part of my life. From an early age, I understood my family was part of a peculiar group trying to live according to old Mormon ways. Both my grandfathers went to prison for polygamy, and I grew up hearing stories of their sacrifice for the "Principle." We lived in a middle-class area of Salt Lake City, where most of our neighbors were mainstream Mormons (the church banned polygamy more than 100 years ago), and church representatives would show up and try to convert my father. All he had to say was "polygamy," and they were gone.     Read more
 
 
Private Ownership 'Only Hope' For Polygamous Communities
KUTV 2News
Originally broadcast Sunday, April 13 2013

(KUTV) Two words central to the American dream---private property---could finally be part of a fix for the dusty polygamous cities of Hildale-Colorado City.  A lawyer who has sued jailed polygamous leader Warren Jeffs told 2News giving people the homes they live in, in those communities, is their "only hope."  And a man who once counted himself among Jeffs' followers, but who has broken from the FLDS sect, urged a judge last week to help put the homes in private hands.  The issue revolves around the United Effort Plan, a trust that controls property in the polygamous communities, and which was legally wrested from Jeffs' grip years ago.  Jeffs, it's widely believed, used his power in the UEP to routinely split up families, and kick them out of houses.  To stop abuses, a Utah court appointed accountant Bruce Wisan as 'special fiduciary' of the trust.  For years, Wisan has worked to bring stability to the communities, but some have resisted his efforts, and legal and administrative costs have reached into the millions.  Now, instead of reorganizing the trust with a new board, some think it's time for the UEP to divest.  "If you take a board of trustees from neighboring communities, nobody's going to want to dive into another mess," said Don Barlow, a 28 year old dissident of Jeffs, who still has ties to Hildale-Colorado City.  Barlow maintained homes should be given, not sold, to residents.     Read more
 
 
"Sister Wives" family to return to UNLV for discussion
Written by: The Rebel Yell
Unversity of Nevada Las Vegas
Originally published April 15, 2013

The UNLV Anthropology Department will host a discussion on polygamy on April 25 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. in the Barrick Museum.  Panelists who both support and oppose plural marriage will be in attendance, including the Kory Brown family from TLC's Sister Wives and attendees who have been raised in polygamist families but who no longer support the lifestyle, such as Willie Steed, who left the community with his mother when church officials attempted to reassign his family to another man after his father was forced to leave.  Audience members will be able to ask panelists questions.
 
 
 
 
 This web site will not be updated past April 2013.
 
 
Top of page
 
 

 

The Rise and Fall of Zion from Bob Franco on Vimeo.

 

 
Read the Utah Supreme Court's Opinion of the Court ruling that Judge Denise Lindberg was wrong to modify the UEP trust as a secular entity, dated March 12, 2013
 

 
Read the Superseding Indictment bringing 86 additional charges against Jeremy Johnson, filed in the US District Court of Utah on March 6, 2013
 

 
Read the Texas Third District Court of Appeals' Mandate denying the appeal of Frederick Merril Jessop for not making payments or filing the required documents, filed March, 6 2013
 

 
Read Judge Denise Lindberg's Order Granting Motion to Approve Probate Completion Strategy regarding settling the United Effort Plan Trust's payment to fiduciary Bruce Wisan, filed in Utah Third District Court March 5, 2013
 

 
Read the Defendants' second email to U.S. Attorney David Barlow in the Jeremy Johnson Internet fraud case, dated March 4, 2013
 

 
Read Willie Jessop's Application for Writ of Execution directing the Washington County Sheriff to seize and sell Twin City's property to satisfy his court Judgements, filed in Utah Fifth District Court March 1, 2013
 

 
Read the Texas Third District Court of Appeals' Mandate denying the appeal of Keith William Dutson, Jr. for not making payments or filing the required documents, filed February, 12 2013
 

 
Read the Utah Supreme Court's Opinion denying the motions of Willie Jessop, Dan Johnson, Merlin Jessop, Lyle Jeffs and James Oler to intervene in the ongoing state administration of the United Effort Plan Trust because they lack legal standing, filed January 29, 2013
 

 
Read the Defendants' email to U.S. Attorney David Barlow in the Jeremy Johnson Internet fraud case, dated January 25, 2013
 

 
Read the US Attorney's Motion for an Order Pursuant to DUCrimR 57-6 requesting a gag order against Jeremy Johnson, filed in the Third District Court in Salt Lake City January 18, 2013
 

 
Read the law firm of Snow, Christensen & Martineau's Press Release regarding the services provided by RMR Consulting to Jeremy Johnson in his FTC fraud case - dated January 18, 2013
 

 
Read the State of Texas' Rule 11 Agreement for Extension of Time to Answer regarding forfeiture of the YFZ Ranch in Eldorado, Texas - filed December 31, 2012
 

 
Read the Texas Third District Court of Appeals' Memorandum Opinion denying the appeal of Frederick Merril Jessop for not making payments or filing the required documents, filed December 21, 2012
 

 
Read U.S. District Court's Order denying the Motion for Change of Venue in the U.S. Department of Justice's lawsuit against the Town of Colorado City, Arizona; City of Hildale, Utah; Twin City Power; and Twin City Water Authority, Inc., filed in the U.S. District Court of Arizona on December 10, 2012
 

 
Read the Declaration of Richard Rawle regarding Utah AG John Swallow's involvement in the Jeremy Johnson fraud case - dated December 5, 2012
 

 
Read the Texas Third District Court of Appeals' Memorandum Opinion denying the appeal of Keith William Dutson, Jr. for not making payments or filing the required documents, filed November 29, 2012
 

 
Read the State of Texas' Search and Seizure Warrant regarding forfeiture of the YFZ Ranch in Eldorado, Texas - filed November 28, 2012
 

 
Read the State of Texas' Notice of Seizure and Intended Forfeiture regarding the YFZ Ranch in Eldorado, Texas - filed November 28, 2012
 

 
Read the State of Texas' Affidavit for Search and Seizure Warrant regarding forfeiture of the YFZ Ranch in Eldorado, Texas - filed November 27, 2012
 

 
Read the Declaration of Scott Leavitt regarding Utah AG John Swallow's involvement in the Jeremy Johnson fraud case - dated November 27, 2012
 

 
Read Warren Jeffs' Revelation from prison dated November 12, 2012
 

 
Read the Federal Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals' Order to Vacate Federal Judge Dee Benson's order in the Utah Third District Court granting preliminary injunction and REMAND with directions to dismiss the claims filed by the FLDS Association as barred by res judicata - i.e. the FLDS waited too long to challenge the state's takeover of the United Effort Plan Trust - filed November 5, 2012
 

 
Below are some interesting items that are not "Current Events", but are included here because they are significant to current events.
 

 
Follow the TEXAS case on charges that Warren personally "spiritually married" little girls ranging in age from 12 to 14 and read the Court filings for and against Warren Steed Jeffs
 

 
Follow the ARIZONA trial on charges of incest and charges of sexual contact with a minor and read the Court filings for and against Warren Steed Jeffs
 

 
Follow the UTAH "Rape as an Accomplice" trial and read the Court filings for and against Warren Steed Jeffs
 

 
Follow the numerous Texas cases of the YFZ men indicted for molesting little girls and read the Court filings regarding these men
 

 
Read the U.S. Department of Justice's Complaint against the Town of Colorado City, Arizona; City of Hildale, Utah; Twin City Power; and Twin City Water Authority, Inc., filed in the U.S. District Court of Arizona June 21, 2012
 

 
FLDS documentary 3 years in the making - Banking on Heaven
 


Watch the Banking on Heaven trailer
 

 
Watch the documentary Damned to Heaven
 

 
Watch the documentary Banished: The Lost Boys of Polygamy
 

 


Listen to Warren Jeffs speak about the black race
 
 


Listen to Warren Jeffs speak about the "Seed of Cain" and "pingy pangy" music from the black race
 

 
See the Texas court exhibit 992 containing 55 pages listing 550 bigamous "marriages" Warren Jeffs participated in either as "Mouth" or "Witness"
 

 
Read Warren Jeffs's Warning to the Nation sent to President Obama, many Cabinet members and members of Congress February 28, 2011
 

 
Read Warren Jeffs's Warning to the Nation signature pages (part 1) sent to President Obama, many Cabinet members and members of Congress February 28, 2011 - THIS IS A VERY LARGE FILE
 

 
Read Warren Jeffs's Warning to the Nation signature pages (part 2) sent to President Obama, many Cabinet members and members of Congress February 28, 2011 - THIS IS A VERY LARGE FILE
 

 
See the KSTU-TV Fox 13 Utah Photo Gallery Polygamist Fashions
 

 
Watch the November 18, 2010 KSL story on Warren Jeffs' fight against being extradited to Texas

Video Courtesy of KSL.com

 

 
Watch the November 15, 2010 KSL story on Warren Jeffs' fight against being extradited to Texas

Video Courtesy of KSL.com

 

 
Read the FLDS church's Proclamation to the Government Officials of the United States of America and to the Government Officials of Canada written by Warren Jeffs while he was in jail in Kingman, Arizona
 

 
Read the flyer for The Polygamy Experience Tour
 

 
Read the Amended and Restated Declaration of Trust of the United Order of Texas (creating ANOTHER new FLDS Church and religious Trust) filed in Schleicher County, Texas October 30, 2009
 

 
Read Sam Brower's memo comparing the FLDS to the Mafia written October, 2009
 

 
Read Special Warranty Deed (transferring the YFZ Ranch from the Texas Heritage Trust to the new Texas Stake of Zion Trust) filed in Schleicher County, Texas September 30, 2009
 

 
Read the December 31, 2008 Declaration of Trust of the Texas Stake of Zion (creating a new FLDS Church and religious Trust) filed in Schleicher County, Texas September 30, 2009
 

 
Read the Court Transcript of the Testimony of Merril Jessop regarding Carolyn Jessop's Petition for Child Support discussing the YFZ Ranch property and the Texas Heritage Trust, given in Schleicher County, Texas September 28, 2009
 

 


Watch some of Willie Jessop's testimony at the April 14, 2009 Texas House Human Services Committee hearing
on the YFZ raid, courtesy of the Austin American-Statesman
 

 

Video Courtesy of KSL.com



Watch the KSL Video Last FLDS youth in custody could soon return to family broadcast on March 13, 2009
 

 
During the January 23, 2009 deposition of Merril Jessop, court exhibits were included in his deposition. One item was a budget from the Short Creek Stake reporting their tithings paid and how these monies were being spent to support the other FLDS compounds
 
Read the Budget Estimates from the Short Creek Stake and see where their hard-earned money was going
 

 
During the January 23, 2009 deposition of Merril Jessop, court exhibits were included in his deposition. One collection was Warren Jeffs' Personal Priesthood Record from January 16, 2007 - June 6, 2007.  Excerpts of this included the "History of events of Warren Steed Jeffs while in prison (Purgatory Jail) in Washington County, Utah."  Below are some of these Personal Priesthood Records
 
Read Warren Jeffs' Personal Priesthood Record PART 1 court exhibit released February 9, 2009
 
Read Warren Jeffs' Personal Priesthood Record PART 2 court exhibit released February 9, 2009
 
Read Warren Jeffs' Personal Priesthood Record PART 3 court exhibit released February 9, 2009
 
Read Warren Jeffs' Personal Priesthood Record PART 4 court exhibit released February 9, 2009
 
Read Warren Jeffs' Personal Priesthood Record PART 5 court exhibit released February 9, 2009
 
Read Warren Jeffs' Personal Priesthood Record PART 6 court exhibit released February 9, 2009
 

 
During the January 23, 2009 deposition of Merril Jessop, court exhibits were included in his deposition. One collection was Warren Jeffs' Personal Dictations  Below are some of these Personal Dictations fom 2005
 
Read Warren Jeffs' Personal Dictations PART 1 court exhibit released February 9, 2009
 
Read Warren Jeffs' Personal Dictations PART 2 court exhibit released February 9, 2009
 
Read Warren Jeffs' Personal Dictations PART 3 court exhibit released February 9, 2009
 
Read Warren Jeffs' Personal Dictations PART 4 court exhibit released February 9, 2009
 
Read Warren Jeffs' Personal Dictations PART 5 court exhibit released February 9, 2009
 

 
During the January 23, 2009 deposition of Merril Jessop, court exhibits were included in his deposition. One item was Warren Jeffs' directive to his brother Lyle Jeffs to notify faithful followers they no longer held the Priesthood
 
Read the bad news given to some FLDS members who were told that they had to repent from afar (leave UEP property) and their families were "released" from them in the Short Creek Assignment from July 12, 2005
 

 
Read the FLDS spokesman Willie Jessop's deposition court transcript recorded January 26, 2009
 

 
MR. SCHAFFER: At this time Mr. Jessop will refuse to answer that question based upon his Fifth Amendment privilege as well — under the federal constitution as well as the state constitution. As counsel propounding these questions knows there are federal investigations involving money laundering, mail fraud, wire fraud, Mann Act violations in federal court, in addition to any allegations being investigated by the state authorities.

MS. MALONIS: For the record, this counsel is not aware of that.

MR. SCHAFFER: You are now.
 


Watch a video of Willie Jessop taken during his deposition January 26, 2009

 

 


Watch more of the video of Willie Jessop taken during his deposition January 26, 2009

 

 
Read YFZ Ranch leader Merril Jessop's deposition court transcript recorded January 23, 2009
 

 


Watch a video of Merril Jessop taken during his deposition January 23, 2009

 

 


Watch more of the video of Merril Jessop taken during his deposition January 23, 2009

 

 


Watch even more of the video of Merril Jessop taken during his deposition January 23, 2009

 

 
Read the court Notice of Intention to take Oral Deposition from Merril Jessop filed January 16, 2009
 

 


Watch the Eldorado Success Video of Willie Jessop meeting with Schleicher County Commissioners on January 12, 2009
 

 
Read the court Subpoena to Compel Appearance for Depostion for Merril Jessop dated January 12, 2009
 

 
Read the Statement of Dan Fischer dated August 1, 2008
 

 
Watch the CBS 48 Hours Mystery YFZ Ranch video where Peter Van Sant talks with Willie Jessop about the April 2008 raid of the YFZ ranch.
 

 
Read the Bishop's Record of Families at the YFZ Ranch released May 1, 2008
 

 


Watch the April 16, 2008 Good Morning America interview with
Nancy, Marie and Esther from the YFZ Ranch in Eldorado, Texas
 

 


Watch the April 15, 2008 CBS Evening News coverage by Hari Sreenivasan
on the YFZ raid and the removal of the FLDS children
 

 


Watch Neal Karlinsky's April 14, 2008 report for ABC World News Tonight
 

 
Read the Statement for the Media sent by Wally Bugden on December 5, 2007
- announcing Warren has resigned as President of the Corporation of the President of the
Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Inc.
 

 
Read the July 9, 2007 Memorandum in Support of Motion in Limine Regarding Statements of the Defendant unsealed by the court on November 6, 2007 - This is the "I am not the Prophet" confession
 
 


Watch Warren Jeffs tell Nephi that he is "not the prophet" and "never was the prophet"
 

 
See the Los Angeles Time's Photo Gallery from stories published May 2006
 

 
Read the February 21, 2005 Training Given by President Warren S. Jeffs On the Places of Refuge to a Group of Men regarding the "keep sweet" training on "how to live and be Zion" and be invited to live on the lands of refuge
 

 
See the Photo Gallery from Alta Academy 1988 to 1996
 

 
For more information on the April 2008 raid on the FLDS YFZ Ranch in Eldorado, Texas, visit our web page
Don't Mess with Texas
 
 
For more information on the trials of the FLDS men from the YFZ Ranch in Eldorado, Texas, visit our web page
Texas Hold'em
 
 
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