FLDS leader Lyle Jeffs to enter plea in federal court

Posted at 12:32 PM, Jul 07, 2017
and last updated 2017-07-07 14:32:27-04

SALT LAKE CITY — Fundamentalist LDS Church leader Lyle Jeffs is scheduled to make his first appearance in a Utah courtroom since he was arrested last month.

Jeffs is scheduled for an arraignment on a failure to appear charge, stemming from his time as a fugitive wanted by the FBI. He is expected to enter a not guilty plea to the new charge.

Fundamentalist LDS Church leader Lyle Jeffs is escorted into federal court in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. (Image by KSFY via CNN)

The former bishop in the Utah-based polygamous church is also facing food stamp fraud charges, stemming from a massive scheme that federal prosecutors allege bilked taxpayers out of more than $12 million. Jeffs was initially charged last year alongside 10 other people. In those cases, prosecutors offered plea deals and dismissed a charge against one of the defendants.

FOX 13 first reported last year that the FBI believes Jeffs used olive oil to slip out of a GPS monitoring device and go on the lam. He was arrested last month in South Dakota.