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Polygamous leader takes plea deal in the food-stamp fraud

FILE – In this July 9, 2015 file photo, Seth Jeffs, right, brother of imprisoned polygamous sect leader Warren Jeffs, participates in a state water board meeting in Pierre, S. D. Jeffs, another high ranking polygamous group leader appears ready to make a plea to engage in a multimillion dollar food stamp fraud. Jeffs has a change of plea hearing scheduled for Wednesday, Dec. 28, 2016, tomorrow in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo/James Nord, File)

(Associated Press)

SALT LAKE CITY – A high ranking polygamous leader is released from prison after pleading guilty in a multimillion-dollar food stamp fraud.

Seth Jeffs has agreed to a deal Wednesday that spares him more jail time or a fine. The 43-year-old was the second of 11 defendants to plead guilty, and more deals are in the works.

Jeffs pleaded guilty to fraud for misusing food stamps, a felony that carried up to 20 years behind bars. In exchange, conspiracy and money laundering charges were dropped.

U.S. prosecutors said they are satisfied with the six months that Jeffs has served in jail since he was arrested in February a multi-year federal investigation.

Jeffs runs the group South Dakota compound and is a brother of the imprisoned prophet, Warren Jeffs.

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