Polygamous sect leader ready to strike plea deal

Seth Jeffs, shown here at federal court in Rapid City following his arrest, is set to change his plea in a food stamp fraud scheme.

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) – Another high-ranking polygamous group leader appears ready to take a plea deal in a multimillion dollar food-stamp fraud case.

Seth Jeffs has a change of plea hearing scheduled for Wednesday morning in Salt Lake City. He runs the group's South Dakota compound near Custer and is a brother of the sect's imprisoned leader, Warren Jeffs.

Last week, fellow defendant John Wayman agreed to a plea deal that secured his release from jail after six months.

Seth Jeffs and Wayman are among 11 people charged in February on accusations of funneling followers' food stamp benefits into front companies and using them to fund leaders' lavish lifestyles.

Another high-profile defendant, Lyle Jeffs, remains on the run after escaping home confinement this summer.