Today was a day filled with successes for Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott as a judge ruled the state may seize the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints compound where polygamist leader Warren Jeffs committed horrific crimes against children and the settlement of a massive medicaid fraud case was announced by the Office of the Texas Attorney General on Tuesday, Jan. 7. At the same time Abbott, a native of Wichita Falls, Texas continued his campaign for the governorship of the Lone Star State.
Abbott orchestrated the successful prosecution of Jeffs for sexually assaulting two girls, ages 12 and 14, according to Radar News today also. Jeffs, who was roaming loose as one of the FBI's ten most wanted men in America, was finally stopped when Abbott's office along with other law enforcement officials, obtained a life sentence plus 20 years in prison for his heinous crimes.
Jeffs claimed the girls were his "spiritual brides" during his high profile trial which captured the attention of the nation. Abbott's prosecutors presented DNA evidence which proved he fathered a child with one of the girls who was age 15.
It was Judge Barbara Walther who entered the default judgment which opens the way for the state to seize the ranch, according to a Fox News affiliate. Walther is the same judge who heard several of the cases in which FLDS members were convicted for sexually assaulting children.
Abbott supervised the seizure of the property by ordering his office to move forward after no one from the cult responded to the seizure.
While the final chapter in the successful prosecution of the FLDS prosecution was being written today, the Attorney General's Office also announced a $25 million agreement with a drug manufacturer over Medicaid fraud allegations. Abbott said today more than $10 million of the settlement will go to the State of Texas. The federal government will also receive a portion of the payment since Medicaid is jointly owned by the state and the federal government.
New York-based pharmaceutical manufacturer Hi-Tech Pharmacal Co. Inc., reportedly fraudulently inflated generic drug prices to the Medicaid program. Since 2002, the Attorney General's Office under Abbott's supervision has recovered more than $400,000,000 as a result of its civil Medicaid Fraud Division (CMF).
If Abbott is successful in the governor's race, he will become the first Wichita Falls native to lead the state. James V. Allred, a resident of Wichita Falls, was elected governor in the 1930s. But he was a native of Bowie, about 40 miles down the road.
During Jeffs' trial, evidence was prosented by the AG's office of images of the custom made bed he had personally made for the purpose of sexually assaulting a host of underage girls.
There was no response even from Jeffs as he sits in his prison cell. Reports have surfaced that he even to this today continues to exercise extraordinary control over cult members scattered across Utah, Arizona and Texas.
With the huge news involving the FLDS compound and the Medicaid settlement all on the same day, news of the gubernatorial race took a backseat. Abbott is favored to win the Republican nomination. Wendy Davis is expected to win the Democratic nomination.
Davis rose to national attention when she fillibustered against an anti-abortion bill on the floor of the Texas Legislature last summer. The bill she opposed makes it illegal for a baby to be aborted after 20 weeks have passed in the pregnancy. Davis appeared on CNN, MSNBC, NBC and other national news shows after her attention-grabbing fillibuster.
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