6 more defendants in multi-million FLDS SNAP benefits fraud case set free

(KUTV) Six more defendants in the multi-million dollar FLDS SNAP benefits fraud case were set free after pleading guilty Wednesday.

This comes more than 10 months after the FBI raided the polygamist towns of Hildale and Colorado city and arrested 11 leaders and members of the FLDS church for aiding and embedding SNAP benefits fraud.

Wednesday's change in plea hearing now brings the total number of people who've pleaded guilty to eight. Three remain, Preston Barlow, Nephi Allred and church leader Lyle Jeffs — who slipped out of his ankle monitor in June and hasn't been seen since.

Both the defense and U.S. Attorneys said they were pleased with the outcome of the hearing.

Attorney Aric Cramer, who's representing Kristal Dutson, spoke to 2News after the hearing.

"It was a good deal for my client, even though I don't believe she was guilty of any crime." Cramer said.

Robert Lund, U.S. Attorney on the case, said this negotiation will hurt many in the Polygamist community.

"One of the defense lawyers said last week that there was an unfair prosecution of the people, and that no one else would be prosecuted this way. We think we were able to achieve what was appropriate." Lund said.

To hear from the defendants themselves and what they had to say following the hearing, watch the news story above.

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