A hidden dump truck as an analogy for FLDS management

Published May 8, 2014 9:27 am
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2014, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Texas can have the ranch, but, apparently, some former members of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints still want some of the machinery found there.

The Eldorado Success reports that Willie Jessop as well as William E. Jessop and at least six other men are making claims to equipment and vehicles found on the ranch.

Chief among them is Willie Jessop, the former Warren Jeffs bodyguard and spokesman for the FLDS. Willie Jessop also owns an excavation company in Hildale and has long complained much of his heavy equipment was used to construct the YFZ Ranch in Eldorado, Texas.

According to The Success, a dump truck registered to Willie Jessop's company was found Monday hidden in brush a few miles from the YFZ Ranch. The Success's story is behind a paywall, but the free section of its website has a photo of the dump truck being driven away by a qualified Schleicher County, Texas, employee.

The Success says the sheriff there is keeping the dump truck until the courts sort out ownership.

The dispute over ownership of equipment at the YFZ Ranch is a good example of how the FLDS has managed its affairs over the years and the aftermath. For decades, the FLDS relied upon donated goods, money and labor to construct everything from homes to businesses to the YFZ. Since Jeffs took control about 2002 and began evicting men and families and spurring others to leave on their own, many of those who made contributions have sought to claim assets once held by the FLDS.

This issue is most acute for the United Effort Plan, the trust that controls FLDS properties in Utah, Arizona and British Columbia. People who helped construct buildings or who gave money to the UEP, or who have lived in a UEP home for decades, claim they should receive title to a property or receive a cash payment. The state of Utah took control of the UEP in 2005 and is trying to decide how to manage the trust and spread the assets.

— Nate Carlisle

Twitter: @tribunepolygamy



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