Full episode
373: The New Boss
Act Two

A Trust Without Trust

An accountant, Bruce Wisan, is hired by the state of Utah to clean up a very complicated mess in a complicated place: Short Creek, home to hundreds of members of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints—or FLDS, which practices polygamy. The community had been run by the notorious Warren Jeffs, now in prison for rape. Jeffs had been in charge of the FLDS church, and also of the giant trust which church members paid into all their lives. But when Jeffs became a fugitive, he began to mismanage the $112 million trust, and so the Utah attorney general stepped in, giving Wisan control. Wisan had plans: He was going to modernize the town utilities, improve the roads, and most important, give people titles to their homes, which under Jeffs were owned and controlled by the church trust. But Wisan quickly ran into an enormous problem: The majority of people in Short Creek would have nothing to do with him or his ideas. Claire Hoffman reports. Claire also wrote about Wisan for Portfolio Magazine in June 2008, in an article called "Satan's Accountant." (23 minutes)