Utahn overseeing FLDS trust wants ranch documents

The Salt Lake Tribune/June 2, 2008

San Angelo, Texas - The fiduciary overseeing a polygamous sect's trust wants access to documents seized from the YFZ Ranch -- and to see documents related to its 2003 purchase.

Bruce R. Wisan, who has overseen the United Effort Plan Trust under a judge's order since May 2005, has filed a motion in Texas that would allow him to look at the ranch documents once a criminal investigation ends.

Wisan believes the documents may contain information related to UEP assets. A hearing on that request is set for Wednesday before Judge Ben Woodward. Wisan is being represented in the Texas action by San Angelo attorney Sam Allen.

"We've been told it's a treasure trove of information," Wisan said in a telephone interview.

He also has filed a motion to compel against First Ag Credit, an agricultural lender based in Texas, seeking purchase documents related to the ranch. A hearing on that request is scheduled for today.

The UEP Trust holds virtually all property in the twin towns of Hildale, Utah, and Colorado City, Ariz. Wisan has received little cooperation from town's residents, almost all of whom are members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

He has gleaned "bits and pieces" of useful information about the trust's past management from documents seized in Colorado and taken from the Cadillac Escalade sect leader Warren S. Jeffs was traveling in when arrested in 2006.

Wisan has an outstanding default judgement against the FLDS church that, with interest, now totals $5 million. He was appointed after Utah officials argued sect leaders were not protecting the trust from lawsuits.

The Texas documents were taken from homes, offices and a temple located at the YFZ Ranch during an raid that began April 3. That raid led to the removal of some 450 children, who were eventually placed in shelters throughout Texas.

A judge signed an order on Monday that allows them to be returned to their parents immediately.

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