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Polygamous trust overseer strikes plea deal on prostitution charge

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Posted at 11:53 AM, Nov 21, 2014
and last updated 2014-11-21 15:56:36-05

TAYLORSVILLE — The court-appointed accountant over the Fundamentalist LDS Church’s real-estate holdings arm has struck a plea deal on a misdemeanor charge of soliciting a prostitute.

Bruce Wisan did not appear in Taylorsville Justice Court on Friday. However, his attorney said he entered a no contest plea in abeyance to the misdemeanor charge. A no contest plea means Wisan acknowledges there is enough evidence to convict him, but he does not admit guilt. It is treated as a conviction by the courts.

A plea in abeyance means that if Wisan commits no other violations of the law, the case would ultimately be dismissed after a year. His lawyer, Greg Skordas, told FOX 13 another provision would be that Wisan attend counseling with his wife.

“It makes sense to resolve the case,” Skordas said. “He just wanted to get it behind him, to his credit.”

A contempt charge would also be dismissed after Wisan failed to appear in court.

Wisan was accused of soliciting a prostitute after being found in a motel room with a woman last year, police reports said. Wisan denied having any sexual contact with the woman, and said he was helping her out financially.

Wisan was appointed by the courts in 2005 to oversee the massive United Effort Plan Trust, which controls most of the homes and property in the FLDS towns of Hildale and Colorado City.  The courts took control of it amid allegations that FLDS leader Warren Jeffs mismanaged it.

It is unknown if he will remain as UEP Trust fiduciary now that he has been convicted. A spokeswoman for the Utah State Courts said 3rd District Court Judge Denise Lindberg will decide by the end of the month. The Utah and Arizona attorneys general have asked her to replace him.