A federal judge Friday ordered a suspect accused of participating in a $511 million fraud scheme connected to a polygamous sect to remain in jail pending trial.
It marked the second time in 72 hours that Isaiah Kingston lost a bid to leave jail.
Friday’s ruling by Judge Brooke Wells at downtown Salt Lake City’s federal court seems to assure that Kingston will remain behind bars for weeks or months. Wells scheduled a five-week trial to begin Oct. 29, but that is likely to be postponed.
Kingston, 37, was listed as the chief financial officer of Washakie Renewable Energy. He is charged with two counts of money laundering.
Wells focused on Kingston’s role in moving $52 million to Turkey as a reason not to grant him release before trial. Wells was concerned that money could be used to help Kingston flee to Turkey, a country currently not extraditing suspects to the United States.
“You paint your client as a pawn — a weak person who is vulnerable to the desires of his brother and co-defendant,” Wells told defense attorney Scott C. Williams.
“Yet, he is responsible for the transfer of $52 million,” the judge added.Kingston’s defendant-brother, Jacob Kingston, 42, is charged with counts of fraud related to what was supposed to be tax credits for the manufacturing of biofuel. Prosecutors contend Washakie actually bought and sold biofuel and laundered money to Turkey. Jacob Kingston on Friday had his detention hearing rescheduled to Sept. 17.
Both brothers — who belong to a polygamous sect, the Davis County Cooperative Society, also known as the Kingston Group — remain in the Weber County jail.
Attorneys gave dueling descriptions Friday of Isaiah Kingston.