Utah AG in court to explain takeover of polygamist sect

SALT LAKE CITY — A state judge is ordering Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff to explain why he is refusing to pay $5.7 million in debt incurred by managers of a communal land trust once run by jailed polygamist sect leader Warren Jeffs.

Utah seized control of the trust in 2005 amid allegations of mismanagement by Jeffs and other leaders of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.

The Utah Supreme Court ruled the state must pay the court-appointed accountant overseeing the takeover. Shurtleff says the state doesn’t have the money and that the fees were supposed to be paid out of the sale of FLDS real-estate assets.

A string of pending lawsuits has frozen many of those assets.

Shurtleff is scheduled to appear before Fourth District Judge Denise Lindberg Friday morning.


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