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FLDS Leader Awaits Ruling On Release From Jail

High-ranking polygamous leader Lyle Jeffs will have to wait to find out if he can leave jail pending trial on accusations he helped orchestrate a multimillion-dollar food stamp fraud scheme.

U.S. District Judge Ted Stewart said at a hearing Wednesday that he would consider the request.

Federal public defender Kathryn Nester had argued that Jeffs is being treated unfairly because of his religious beliefs.

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Prosecutor Robert Lund said Jeffs can't be trusted because he is openly defiant of civil law, citing polygamous practices that include underage brides.

Jeffs, who runs the day-to-day operations of the polygamous sect on the Utah-Arizona border, is the last suspect still behind bars after 11 people were indicted on charges of diverting at least $12 million worth of federal benefits.