3 more plead not guilty in polygamous fraud case

Feb 24, 2016 7:09 PM by News Staff

Salt Lake City (AP) - Three of the 11 people accused in what prosecutors say was a multi-million-dollar food stamp fraud scheme orchestrated by polygamous leaders have pleaded not guilty in southern Utah.

The Spectrum of St. George reports that two women and a man appeared in court for the first time Wednesday.

A lawyer for one, 55-year-old Kristal Meldrum Dutson, says she is a hardworking mother of 15 with no criminal record.

A total of 11 people have been accused of diverting at least $12 million worth of federal benefits by telling hundreds of members to buy things and give them to a church warehouse or using the food stamps in sect-owned stores without actually getting anything in return.

Two group leaders have also pleaded not guilty. Five of those indicted have not yet been arrested.


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