SALT LAKE CITY — Attorneys for Washakie Renewable Energy CEO Jacob Kingston are asking a federal judge to block government lawyers from bringing up talk of his church or polygamy at his upcoming trial.
In a motion recently filed in court and obtained by FOX 13, Kingston’s attorneys seek to bar the federal government from mentioning the Davis County Cooperative Society, also known as “The Order.” They also seek to prohibit any mention of polygamy, which is practiced by some members of the fundamentalist Mormon group.
“Even assuming the polygamy evidence was relevant (which it is not), the risk of prejudice is even greater in this case considering how emotionally and politically charged the issue of polygamy is and has been in Utah. Accordingly, this Court should exclude any polygamy references by the government or its witnesses at trial,” attorneys Marc Agnifilio and Wally Bugden wrote.
Kingston, his wife, Sally; his mother, Rachel; his brother, Isaiah; and businessman Lev Dermen are all charged in what federal prosecutors have alleged is a massive scheme to bilk the IRS out of a billion dollars in renewable fuel tax credits. The case stems from a 2016 raid by the IRS on businesses and properties linked to the Kingston polygamous family. Civil lawsuits involving Washakie Renewable Energy have claimed the company produced no biofuels.
The Davis County Cooperative Society recently went to a federal appeals court to block the use of documents seized by federal authorities in that raid.
Judge Jill Parrish has scheduled a hearing next week on Kingston’s motion to block mention of the church or polygamy. The Kingstons and Dermen are slated to go on trial beginning at the end of July.