Utah has launched an organized-crime investigation into a polygamist sect and its fugitive leader Warren Jeffs, now on the FBI's 10 Most Wanted list.
Jeffs is already wanted on Utah and Arizona charges alleging he arranged plural marriages of underage girls. Attorney General Mark Shurtleff said Monday that his office is also looking at Jeffs and his church for "double books, cooking books, offshore accounts and fraud."
The UEP is the United Effort Plan trust, the $110 million financial arm of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, which owns businesses and property in the Hildale, Utah, and Colorado City, Ariz., where the church is based.
The FLDS church is one of a number of polygamist sects in and near Utah. Followers believe The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, or Mormon church, went the wrong direction when it abandoned polygamy more than a century ago as Utah was seeking statehood. Estimates of the number of polygamists range from 30,000 to 100,000.