The False Prophet: Warren Jeffs
Profit for the "Prophet"
In June 2005, the FBI became involved in the case and, as FBI agent John W. Lewis stated in a Larry King Live interview, "decided to go forward with an unlawful flight to avoid prosecution warrant" against Warren. Together with the local law enforcement agency, they began their full-fledge search for him and offered a $100,000 reward for his capture. Since the FLDS communities were spread over such a vast area between Canada, the U.S. and Mexico, it was clear that they had a big search ahead of them.
During Warren's life on the run, it was believed that FLDS members in various locations were providing him with temporary safe houses to escape detection. It was also believed that they were financially supporting him. At the time Warren fled from Colorado City, he "abandoned $100 million in assets" which were held by the financial arm of the FLDS church known as the United Effort Plan Trust, Ed Kociela reported for The Spectrum. It was suspected that the money, which came mostly from sect members, was being siphoned from the church to help support Warren. To prevent this, a judge was appointed to manage the trust in 2005.
With the trust blocked, Warren had to rely on more direct personal handouts from loyal FLDS members. George Knapp told KLAS TV Eyewitness News that law enforcement authorities believed that the funds from polygamist business enterprises were used to financially support Warren. According to the report, one of his alleged "money men" was Jacob Jessop, a relation to Carolyn Jessop, who owned construction firms in Nevada from which the proceeds were thought to have funded Warren's life as a fugitive. He was also suspected as being one of many who put Warren up in a safe house during his time in Nevada. However, there was no proof to substantiate the claims against Jessop or any other followers for that matter.
The only proof authorities had that FLDS members were funding Warren's escape was when they finally arrested him in August, 2006. It was then that they found in his car large sums of cash and gift cards from various unidentified sect members addressed to the "prophet" that contained thousands of dollars. It was unclear whether Jessop was among the contributors. Furthermore, it is not known whether those that did contribute to Warren's life as a fugitive will ever face trial. If so, such cases will likely go on the judicial back-burner until after Warren has been tried for his crimes.