Court rules Utah keeps control of religious cult’s property trust

United Effort Plan A communal land trust once run by jailed U.S. polygamist cult leader Warren Jeffs should not be turned back to leaders of his breakaway Mormon sect because they were too late filing a legal challenge against Utah’s takeover of the assets, a federal appeals court ruled on Monday.

We provide background to the case, as well as an overview of other controversies surrounding the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. [Read more...]

Utah AG ordered to pay for takeover of FLDS sect’s property trust

United Effort Plan The state of Utah must help pay more than $5.5 million in past-due bills owed to an accountant appointed to run the FLDS sect’s United Effort Plan property trust after it was taken over by the state, the Utah Supreme Court decided Friday.

Utah courts seized control of the trust in 2005 amid allegations by state attorneys that the cult’s leaders had mismanaged its assets. [Read more...]

Feds sue polygamous towns for religious discrimination

Colorado City The U.S. Justice Department has filed a federal lawsuit against government officials in the polygamous border towns of Hildale, Utah, and Colorado City, Ariz., alleging civil rights violations.

the suit marks a departure for the federal government, which has until now steered clear of filing cases against members of the FLDS sect. [Read more...]

Warren Jeffs’ appeal is rejected by Texas state court

Warren Jeffs In August, 2011, a Texas jury convicted polygamist sect leader Warren Jeffs of child sexual assault in a case stemming from two young followers he took as brides in what his church calls “spiritual marriages.”

Jeffs has appealed his conviction with ‘revelations’ in which Jesus Christ allegedly demands his release, but the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals has turned down the appeal. [Read more...]

Conviction upheld in FLDS sexual assault case

Abram Harker Jeffs In his appeal, Abram Harker Jeffs claimed that the state had insufficient evidence to prove that a sexual relationship had occurred between him and his wife, whom he married when she was 14 years old.

He was one of 12 men indicted after a 2008 law enforcement raid on the sect’s Texas-based ranch. [Read more...]