Judge Rules Polygamist Church Bilked Woman

Judge Rules Polygamist Church Bilked Woman

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(Salt Lake City-AP) -- A Utah judge has ruled in a civil suit that leaders and members of a polygamist church bilked a woman out of one-point-54 (M)million dollars in a 1989 real estate deal.

Fourth District Judge Donald Eyre awarded Virginia Hill the one-point-54 (M)million dollars plus more than one-point-eight (M)million dollars in interest.

He also held that Owen Allred, the 89-year-old leader of the Apostolic United Brethren, laundered thousands of dollars and conspired to steal more.

The judge ordered Allred to pay damages of 30 thousand dollars to Hill.

Lamoine Jensen, the man picked to succeed Allred as leader of the estimated four thousand-member church, is liable for another 30 thousand dollars, and the church itself was ordered to pay 250 thousand dollars.

A-U-B member James Sandmire, who allegedly funneled much of Hill's money into a number of businesses, was found liable for 500 thousand dollars in damages. Dennis Matthews, an A-U-B bishop, and ex-church member Putvin, who represented himself at trial, are liable for the balance.

(Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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