Judge orders AG to pay nearly $5m to accountant overseeing FLDS land arm

Fox KSTU-TV 13 News/August 2, 2011

Salt Lake City - A judge has ordered the Utah Attorney General's Office to pay nearly $5 million in fees in the ongoing court fight over land in the polygamous border towns of Hildale and Colorado City.

In a ruling made July 29 and released on Tuesday, 3rd District Judge Denise Lindberg ordered Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff's office to pay Bruce Wisan, the court-appointed special fiduciary of the United Effort Plan Trust. The UEP is the real-estate holdings arm of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, which is led by Warren Jeffs. It was taken over by the courts in 2005 amid allegations that Jeffs and other FLDS leaders mismanaged it. The UEP controls homes and property in Hildale, Colorado City, Ariz., and other FLDS enclaves.

In her ruling, Lindberg chastised the attorney general, saying he "undercut" Wisan's ability to manage the trust by trying to negotiate a settlement that returned much of the control of the trust back to the FLDS Church. Lawsuits over control of the trust are currently in the hands of a federal appeals court in Denver.

Jeffs is currently on trial in Texas on charges related to underage marriages.

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