FLDS leader's food stamp fraud trial postponed to October

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SALT LAKE CITY — A federal judge Friday postponed the September trial of a Fundamentalist LDS Church leader accused of food stamp fraud and failure to appear.

A four-week jury trial for Lyle Steed Jeffs is now scheduled to start Oct. 23 in U.S. District Court. His attorneys sought the delay to allow time for Jeffs to have a neurological exam because of two brain injuries he suffered 20 years ago.

Jeffs' attorney, Kathryn Nester, also told Judge Ted Stewart this week that she intends to request that the food stamp fraud and failure to appear charges be separated.

Prosecutors allege Jeffs masterminded a scheme that resulted in the misuse of hundreds of thousands of dollars in Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits. Jeffs escaped home confinement and spent a year on the run before being captured in June. He is being held in the Tooele County Jail.

Nine other defendants in the case reached plea deals with the U.S. Attorney's Office. Prosecutor Rob Lund declined to discuss any negotiations in Jeffs' case.

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Dennis Romboy


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