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Polygamous leader takes plea deal in food-stamp fraud case

SALT LAKE CITY -- A high-ranking polygamous leader has been released from jail after pleading guilty in a multimillion-dollar food-stamp fraud case.

Seth Jeffs agreed to a deal Wednesday that spares him more jail time or a fine. The 43-year-old became 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 return, conspiracy and money laundering charges were dropped.

U.S. prosecutors said they’re satisfied with the six months that Jeffs has served in jail since he was arrested in February following a multiyear federal investigation.

Jeffs runs the South Dakota compound of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints -- a radical offshoot of mainstream Mormonism -- and is a brother of its imprisoned leader, Warren Jeffs

Warren Jeffs was sentenced to life in jail in 2011 for sexually assaulting two underage followers of his church that he took as child brides. The girls were 12 and 15 years old.