Note: what follows is an unedited KSL News transcript
Law enforcers, have been unable to find polygamist leader Warren Jeffs … and, serve court papers, freezing his church’s financial trust.
But, critics say … Jeffs’ followers, are already out- flanking the court order … by ‘looting’ the trust’s assetts.
John Hollenhorst joins us … from the Matheson Courthouse.
A judge today extended his order, freezing the financial trust for another ten days. It’s reportedly worth perhaps 100 million dollars.
The trust includes most of the land, buildings and businesses in the polygamist twin towns of Colorado City, Arizona and Hildale, Utah.
It’s the financial backbone of Warren Jeffs and his Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.
In the wake of lawsuits against Jeffs, and claims by the Attorney General that the trust is mismanaged, a judge ordered the assetts frozen. But critics say Jeff’s followers have started looting those assetts on a daily basis.
MARLENE MOHN, LAWYER FOR FORMER MEMBERS: “BUILDINGS ARE DISAPPEARING OVERNIGHT. THERE’S ALL KIND OF SMOKE AND MIRRORS WITH PROPERTY BEING TRANSFERRED HERE AND THERE AND WHATEVER. AND BASICALLY WHEN THE SMOKE CLEARS THERE’S GOING TO BE NOTHING LEFT.”
GARY ENGELS, ARIZONA CRIMINAL INVESTIGATOR: “I’M CONCERNED ABOUT SEEING THIS STUFF DISAPPEAR. I WOULD LIKE TO SEE THE COURT STEP IN AND PUT A STOP TO IT.”
SAM BROWER, PRIVATE DETECTIVE: “IN FACT, I THINK THAT IN HILDALE THE LOOTING IS BEING ASSISTED BY THE LOCAL TOWN MARSHALLS, THAT’S MY BELIEF.”
Late Saturday night large trucks reportedly pulled up to the FLDS meeting house. Critics believe they took away valuable equipment in the dead of night.
State lawyers are investigating to see if the so-called “looting” violates the court order.
Meanwhile, there’s a followup hearing June 22nd. It’s possible Jeffs will lose control for good of his Church’s considerable fortune.