One of the 11 defendants accused of defrauding the federal food stamp program to benefit the polygamous Fundamentalist Church of Latter-Day Saints (FLDS) is asking that his trial be postponed until next year.
Free Confidential Lawsuit Evaluation: If you or a loved one has been sexually abused, molested or otherwise harmed by a member of the Mormon Church or Fundamentalist Church of Latter-Day Saints (FLDS), you should contact our law firm immediately. You may be entitled to compensation by filing a suit and our lawyers can help.
What’s the Problem?
August 22, 2016 – Hyrum Bygnal Dutson’s attorney filed a motion Wednesday seeking to postpone the food stamp fraud trial until at least May 1, 2017. The trial is currently scheduled to begin October 3 in federal court in Salt Lake City, Utah.
The defendants, all members of the polygamous FLDS sect, are each charged with 2 counts of conspiracy. Prosecutors allege they used food stamp benefits to purchase goods that were then turned over to the church storehouse in Hildale, Utah and Colorado City, Arizona. In other cases, the benefits were used at an FLDS-owned store and liquidated into cash that was used to buy a truck and other items.
Dutson’s attorney is requesting that the trial be postponed over what he describes as an enormous amount of evidence to go through. According to the motion, the FBI has given defense attorneys 46 terabytes of video (the equivalent of about 66,000 compact discs), a Blu-ray disc of investigative reports, 24 hard drives and almost 50,000 pages of documents.
There may be additional evidence coming in as well, according to the motion. Even if it arrives soon, Dutson’s attorney says he may not have time to prepare an adequate defense by October 3, according to the filing.
U.S. District Court Judge Ted Stewart has scheduled a hearing for September 6 to discuss evidence in the case and whether the charges should be dropped. Dutson and the other defendants argue they had a First Amendment right to donate their Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits to the FLDS church. Prosecutors have countered that the defendants had no constitutional right to participate in the program and cooked up a money making scheme that had nothing to do with religion.
Do I Have an FLDS Lawsuit?
The Product Liability & Defective Drug Abuse Litigation Group at our law firm is an experienced team of trial lawyers that focus on the representation of plaintiffs in FLDS lawsuits. We are handling individual litigation nationwide and currently accepting new abuse and molestation cases in all 50 states.
Free Confidential Case Evaluation: Again, if you or a loved one was sexually abused, molested or otherwise harmed by a member of the Mormon Church or FLDS, you should contact our law firm immediately. You may be entitled to a settlement by filing a suit and our lawyers can help.