Eleven leaders of the polygamist group the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, or FLDS, face charges of fraud and conspiracy to commit money laundering.
According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, church members in Hildale, Utah and Colorado City, Arizona, allegedly "diverted SNAP proceeds from authorized beneficiaries to leaders of the FLDS Church."
SNAP stands for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, formerly known as food stamps.
One of the church leaders authorities arrested is Lyle Jeffs. You may have heard of him because he’s been running the polygamist community while his brother – Warren Jeffs — is behind bars for sexually assaulting two girls he reportedly called his "spiritual wives."
In a press release, U.S. Attorney John W. Huber said: "This indictment is not about religion. This indictment is about fraud. This indictment charges a sophisticated group of individuals operating in the Hildale-Colorado City community who conspired to defraud a program intended to help low income individuals and families purchase food."
All of the defendants arrested Tuesday are expected to appear in court Wednesday.
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