FLDS SNAP fraud case: guilty plea by John Waxman
22 December, 2016
Speaking softly, John Wayman agreed to plead guilty to a single count of food stamp fraud.
“Has anyone offered you any inducements or threatened to get you to plead guilty?” Judge Stewart asked.
“No,” Wayman replied.
“Is it your intention to plead guilty of your own free will?”
Wayman admitted that between 2011 and 2016, he knowingly facilitated Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits to non-beneficiaries. Federal prosecutors have charged 11 FLDS members with food stamp fraud and money laundering charges, accusing them of ordering followers of the Utah-based polygamous church to hand over SNAP benefits to leaders, to do with as they wish. The feds allege the scheme exceeds $12 million in taxpayer dollars.
But under the deal, Wayman gets released from jail immediately and has to pay no restitution. He also doesn’t have any probation and a $100 fine. The feds have also agreed not to indict him for any other crimes that they may be aware of. Federal prosecutors defended their plea bargain offer, saying they believe it sends a message to the “culture of fraud” within the FLDS community, resolves the religious freedom issues and obtains guilty pleas. They also appeared to acknowledge some difficulty in obtaining a plea deal.
“It’s a very unique case that has unique legal issues,” assistant U.S. Attorney Rob Lund told the judge.
Plea deals have been offered to other defendants in the case, with one already notifying the government he will accept it.
Kimball Dee Barlow will enter a guilty plea of a charge of conspiracy to commit fraud as a misdemeanor, Attorney Rudy Bautista says. The terms from there are, in addition to pleading to that, there would be no incarceration.
Lyle Jeffs is accused of escaping home confinement in june. The FBI has said he used olive oil to slip out of a GPS monitoring device. A $50,000 reward has been offered for information leading to his arrest
Lyle Jeffs is the brother of imprisoned polygamist leader Warren Jeffs, who is serving a life sentence in a Texas prison for child sex assault related to underage “marriages.”
August 30 Lyle Jeffs,SHOULD BE CONSIDERED ARMED AND DANGEROUS ]
On August 29,, the FBI announced the agency is offering a reward of up to $50,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of Lyle Jeffs, 56, who might try to change his appearance, is considered armed and dangerous and should not be approached.
Date(s) of Birth Used January 17, 1960, January 19, 1960
Place of Birth Utah
Weight 210 pounds
The FBI is offering a reward of up to $50,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of Lyle Steed Jeff
SHOULD BE CONSIDERED ARMED AND DANGEROUS
Submit a Tip:
If you have any information concerning this person, please contact your local FBI office or the nearest American Embassy or Consulate.
Field Office: Salt Lake City
[August 9 Short Creek FLDS reorganized ]
Warren Jeffs has named a new bishop of Short Creek, replacing one brother, Lyle, with another, Nephi.
Warren Jeffs noted in his lengthy instructions to Nephi that each of Short Creek’s recent bishops had failed: “Each one has had the great sin of finding comfort in women’s attention,”
[March 8 FLDS towns will pay $1.6 million in civil rights trial
In a civil rights trial, the jury reached a verdict on its fourth day of deliberations, and awarded $2.2 million to six residents eligible for damages. But the towns will only have to pay $1.6 million because lawyers negotiated a settlement over that part of the case.
The judge will now decide what other punishments to impose. Federal authorities could ask for the Colorado City Marshal’s Office to be disbanded and for its duties to be handed over to local sheriffs. Federal attorneys describe the local police force and FLDS Church’s security operation as paranoid entities that worked to violate the rights of nonbelievers. Witnesses for the government said church security spied on people with cameras placed around the towns and positioned themselves to keep an eye on who was arriving.
The former head of church security described elaborate cloak-and-dagger efforts taken to avoid scrutiny from outside law enforcement, such as using “burner” cellphones, encrypted radios and driving 40 miles to make phone calls out of fear that a local cell tower was being monitored by investigators.
[March 1 FLDS : only one defendant, Kimball Dee Barlow, 51 at large ]
On February 26, a judge in Salt Lake City ordered defendant John Clifton Wayman, 56, detained, finding that he presented a risk to flee. Seth Steed Jeffs, 42, of Custer, S.D., appeared February 29 in a federal court in South Dakota, where a judge ordered him to remain in custody , too, and to be transferred to Utah by federal marshals. As of February 29, only one defendant, Kimball Dee Barlow, 51, had not been apprehended or surrendered.
February 26 SNAP fraud indictments in Colorado City, Ariz.
Prosecutors believe leaders of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints diverted funds from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, and ordered church members to use the benefits to place goods in a communal storehouse to later be distributed among church members.
A two-count indictment charges 11 leaders and members of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (FLDS Church) with conspiracy to commit Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits fraud and conspiracy to commit money laundering. The defendants include leaders of the church.Charged in the indictment are Lyle Steed Jeffs, age 56, John Clifton Wayman, age 56, Kimball Dee Barlow, age 51, Winford Johnson Barlow, age 50, Rulon Mormon Barlow, age 45, Ruth Peine Barlow, age 41, and Preston Yates Barlow, age 41, all of Hildale; Seth Steed Jeffs, age 42, of Custer, South Dakota; and Nephi Steed Allred, Hyrum Bygnal Dutson, age 55, and Kristal Meldrum Dutson, age 55, all of Colorado City.
The indictment alleges that in March 2015, using SNAP fraud proceeds, Kimball Barlow signed a check for $16,978 to Orchid’s Paper Products Company for the purchase of paper products. During the period May 31, 2013, through September 22, 2014, the indictment alleges Ruth Barlow signed five checks totaling $13,561 made payable to John Deere Financial. The SNAP fraud proceeds were used for installment payments on a 2013 John Deere load tractor. SNAP fraud proceeds were also used for 16 checks totaling $30,236 payable to Ford Motor Credit for installment payments on a 2012 Ford F-350 purchased by Winford Barlow about Sept. 29, 2012.
The violations included in the indictment are especially egregious since they allege that leaders of the conspiracy directed others to commit crimes, for which only certain people benefited,”
[February 8 federal jury trial against Colorado City, Ariz. and Hildale, Utah ]
PHOENIX (CN) – The former chief marshal of two towns run by a fundamentalist Mormon sect testified February 3 that he looked the other way when men in Colorado City, Ariz. and Hildale, Utah took underage girls as their “spiritual wives.”
The Department of Justice sued the twin towns in 2012, claiming they denied non-church members police protection, water and housing. The towns are dominated by members of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, whose leader, Warren Jeffs, is serving life in prison for sexually assaulting 12- and 15-year-old girls, whom he called his spiritual wives.
A federal jury trial against the two towns began in January and is expected to last through the end of February.
The government accuses the Colorado City Marshal’s Office of selectively enforcing “laws and regulations against non-FLDS individuals on the basis of religion.”
[September 16 2015 Floods catch 16 near FLDS center ]
Hildale • Washes divide Hildale, Utah, and adjoining Colorado City, Ariz. A big one, called Short Creek Wash, is supposed to act like a big drainage ditch and runs at almost a 45-degree angle through the community.
Smaller washes connect to Short Creek Wash. At about 5 p.m. Monday, 16 people — women and children — were caught when water rushed from one of those smaller washes into Short Creek Wash.
[March 24 2013 FLDS home covered in surveillance cameras]
The twin towns of Hildale, Utah, and Colorado City, Ariz., known collectively as “Short Creek” and home to the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, is covered in surveillance cameras.
“Our idea was to stop the underage marriages, and I think we’ve done that,” said Gary Engels, a Mohave County investigator who spearheaded the crackdown. “But, if anything, the community has become a lot more closed to society. The people have become a lot more paranoid. map
Willie Jessop, former member of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, walks down the hallway following a hearing Tuesday, March 5, 2013, in Salt Lake City. A 3rd District Judge has given initial approval for the eventual creation of a board of trustees to take over homes and property belonging to a polygamous sect led by Warren Jeffs on the Utah-Arizona border. Judge Denise Lindberg approved the plan during a hearing Tuesday morning in Salt Lake City. Her approval is not a final decision, but rather permission to explore this option. Any action is pending the Utah legislature paying $5.7 million it owes in professional fees to a trust created in 2005 to handle the properties Willie Jessop, said he’s confident a board can be created that does what’s best for everybody.
“There is enough compassionate people in the community that understand the importance of protecting their neighbors’ interests, even if their neighbor is required to answer them nothing,” Jessop said.
Members of the fundamentalist Mormon group in Centennial Park are behind the new grocery store off of AZ Highway 389 and say they will allow anyone to shop there.
The Centennial Park group broke away from the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in the mid-1980s and has prospered with a pro-business and welcoming mind-set.
The FLDS-controlled CMC Food Town, the only grocery store in Colorado City and its twin city of Hildale, Utah, abruptly closed in November. The towns’ lone hardware store and RadioShack also closed.
FLDS Church leader Warren Jeffs, 57, is imprisoned in Texas on convictions of sexually assaulting two underage girls.
Even while behind bars, Jeffs is said to still release edicts to his followers, including recent strict food restrictions and many believe he is behind the closing of the stores.
Controlling food is just one more way for Jeffs to control his people and punish outsiders as only FLDS faithful are allowed to get food from what’s called the Bishop’s Storehouse.
“You can only survive off the storehouse,” Knudson said. “There are absolute two societies now. If you are not in with them they don’t even talk with you.”
Humanitarian groups have been concerned over the closing of the grocery store and welcome the news of the new store in Centennial Park.
“This is great news,” said Paul Murphy, spokesperson for the Utah Attorney General’s Office. “People have literally been bringing truckloads of food into this area making sure families are fed.” On 13 May 1984 the portion of Johnson’s followers who were dismissed or left on their own, held their first Priesthood Meeting just outside of town. They named their group the “Second Ward” in contrast to those following Johnson, whom the Centennial Park group refers to as the “First Ward.” Initially they met in the home of Alma Timpson.
By 27 September 1986, the Centennial Park group had built a meeting house and later, in 2003, a charter school was built for the town’s growing elementary-age population.
Most of this group lives in Centennial Park City, Arizona (36°57′21.96″N 112°58′59.64″W), a town approximately 3 miles (5 km) south of the twin communities of Colorado City, Arizona and Hildale, Utah, with a small number living in the Salt Lake Valley.
PHOENIX (AP) _ Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne says there is an ongoing criminal investigation into a polygamous sect along the Utah-Arizona border.
The Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints’ leader, Warren Jeffs, is jailed in Texas for life after being convicted of sexually assaulting two of his underage brides.
A 26-year-old woman who claims Jeffs forced her into marriage at age 14 has now fled the group. She says she and her six children were held against their will for years.
Horne says her allegations of forced underage sex, among other things, are part of the ongoing case, but he declined to provide details.
Jeffs was convicted in Texas after similar allegations were leveled against him and others following a 2008 raid on an FLDS ranch in Texas.
Ruby Jessop escape from Colorado City, Ariz. along with her six children ages 2 to 10.
“ She went to court in Kingman and got a court order to bring her children out. I talked to her for a bit his morning. The kids were huddled around a TV, which they have seldom if ever seen before. “
The woman had been living with her parents, and ran to the home of Willie Jessop, former spokesman for the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, who currently supports a rival seeking to replace Jeffs as prophet..
Washington County sheriff’s deputies helped one of the wives of polygamous sect leader Warren Jeffs leave the sect’s home base community along the Utah-Arizona border Monday.
The sheriff’s deputies helped diffuse what had become a standoff with FLDS men outside Jessop’s office, after a manhunt was launched, the woman was taken to a shelter. Deputies arrived on a ‘keep the peace’ call at about 3pm.
She asked for assistance in leaving the community,.
They are looking into allegations she was held against her own will and even drugged.