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Judge Approves Request to Hamstring Polygamous Trust

Judge Approves Request to Hamstring Polygamous Trust

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John Daley ReportingUtah's Attorney General is turning up the heat on leaders of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Late this afternoon a judge approved the state's request for independent parties to temporarily take control of the polygamous church's assets.

Just what is going on with FLDS leaders and prophet Warren Jeffs is a complete mystery. What is clear is that serious legal and financial trouble is looming for Jeffs and his supporters. There's a human drama playing out in the Utah-Arizona border towns of Hildale and Colorado City. It's filled with suspense and mystery and no one is sure how the plot will unfold.

Under intense scrutiny from state officials FLDS prophet Warren Jeffs and an unknown number of his closest followers moved to Texas and began building a huge new temple. A few days ago Arizona agents raided the elementary school in Colorado City, taking documents apparently relating to possible financial wrongdoing.

Then today in a Utah courthouse the attorney general's office moved to prevent Jeffs and other leaders of the polygamous church from liquidating assets belonging to a trust for church members, and transferring them to insiders.

Tim Bodily, Asst. Attorney General: "The state is not necessarily asking the assets to be frozen, it just to ask that certainly the assets not continually be disbursed. There's real property that have substantial value that's within the trust that has been transferred recently on more than one occasion. And we believe is appropriately property of the trust and its beneficiaries."

The trust, which controls FLDS church property and assets, has been estimated to be worth as much as 100 million dollars. It includes many homes in the two towns. Some who live there are represented by Roger Hoole.

Roger Hoole, Attorney for "Lost Boys": "Warren Jeffs is able to control people's lives because he owns their homes. And if he doesn't like what they're doing or what they're thinking or what they might be thinking, he kicks them out of their homes and they lose them."

Jeffs and other FLDS leaders were not present or represented in court today. They've skipped other court hearings and seem to be increasingly isolated from the outside world.

Roger Hoole: "It's my understanding that he's predicting the end of the world, and why hire lawyers when the end of the world is coming."

The Attorney General's Office will ask a judge at a hearing set for June 22nd to entirely remove the polygamous leaders as trustees. We also expect a court hearing June 6th on this matter.

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