FLDS Church seeks $8.8 million in UEP Trust lawsuit

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The Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints filed a lawsuit Friday asking a Utah court to set aside a 2007 judgement that awarded nearly $8.8 million to a trust once overseen by Warren S. Jeffs.

    The suit, filed in 3rd District Court, claims the United Effort Plan (UEP) Trust, run by court-appointed fiduciary Bruce R. Wisan since 2005, obtained the award fraudulently.
    "The judgement was entered based upon false, incomplete, and misleading evidence [the] defendant presented at a hearing on March 1, 2007," the suit states.
    It goes on to say that Wisan falsely argued that the church sold real property for less than full value and that personal property had been wrongfully removed from the trust by the church. It disputes attorneys' and fiduciary fees incurred as a result of property transfers.
    In 2007, Judge Denise Lindberg found that Jeffs and other trustees had harmed the trust by selling off property and ordering the removal of buildings and farm equipment. The trust holds nearly all land and buildings in Hilldale, Utah and Colorado City, Ariz., the home base of the FLDS Church.
    In some cases, FLDS members have asserted that some of the property was private rather than assets of the UEP trust. But Wisan has provided evidence that they were contributed to or bought for the trust.

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