ST. GEORGE — The seventh of 11 top leaders and members of the Fundamentalist LDS Church charged in federal court with money laundering and food stamp fraud was taken into custody.
Nephi Steed Allred surrendered to authorities on Thursday and was booked into the Washington County Jail. He was scheduled to make an initial appearance in court on Friday.
Allred, along with 10 others, are accused of diverting food stamp proceeds from authorized beneficiaries to leaders of the FLDS Church to use as they saw fit, amounting to millions of dollars in fraud.
Three men arrested during a raid Tuesday remained in custody awaiting detention hearings Thursday. Lyle Jeffs, 56, the brother of FLDS leader Warren Jeffs, who prosecutors believe is helping enforce his brother's rule while Warren Jeffs sits in a Texas prison for sexually assaulting one of his 24 underaged child brides, and John Clifton Wayman, 56, are currently in the Davis County Jail. Seth Steed Jeffs, 42, is in custody in Pennington County, South Dakota.
Federal prosecutors agreed Thursday to release three others from the Washington County Jail, provided they wear GPS ankle monitors, and canceled an upcoming hearing to argue that they remain in custody. Winford Johnson Barlow, 50; Kristal Meldrum Dutson, 55; and Ruth Peine Barlow, 41, were expected to be released from jail Thursday evening.
Arrest warrants remained outstanding Thursday for Kimball Dee Barlow, 51; Rulon Mormon Barlow, 45; Preston Yates Barlow, 41, and Hyrum Bygnal Dutson, 55.
Prosecutors had contended in a lengthy document filed this week that, because of an elaborate system that FLDS leaders have created to hide people and help them avoid apprehension, if those currently charged are released they will flee and disappear.
The U.S. Attorney's Office will argue in federal court on Friday to keep Wayman in custody as the case advances. A detention hearing for Seth Jeffs is set for Monday in South Dakota, and another is scheduled for Lyle Jeffs on March 7 in Salt Lake City.