SALT LAKE CITY — A federal judge has found fugitive polygamist leader Lyle Jeffs in default in a child labor case.
In an order entered in U.S. District Court on Monday night, Magistrate Judge Jill Parrish found Jeffs and the Fundamentalist LDS Church defaulted in the case.
The U.S. Department of Labor sued Jeffs and the FLDS Church in connection with a pecan harvest in southern Utah back in 2012, where hundreds of children were put to work on a farm. The feds accused Jeffs and the church of not paying them.
The decision could leave Jeffs and the Hildale-based polygamous church on the hook for millions. He was served with papers while briefly incarcerated in 2016 in connection with a food stamp fraud case. However, shortly after being released to home confinement, the FBI said Jeffs used olive oil to slip out of a GPS monitoring device and escape.
The FBI is currently offering a $50,000 reward for information leading to Jeffs’ arrest and conviction.
Jeffs is the brother of imprisoned FLDS leader Warren Jeffs, who is currently serving a life sentence for child sex abuse related to underage “marriages.”