The Polygamist Who Allegedly Scammed the U.S. Out of a Half-Billion Dollars

June 24, 2019, 9:20 AM

On the afternoon of Aug. 23, 2018, federal agents fanned out across the Salt Lake City airport. They were looking for Jacob Kingston. He was 42, with short, dark hair and a salt-and-pepper beard. According to the IRS, Kingston had defrauded the U.S. government of more than a half-billion dollars, and now he was fleeing to Turkey. The agents feared that if he boarded KLM flight 6026, he’d never come back.

Illustration: Martin Groch for Bloomberg Businessweek

Kingston is a member of the Order, the largest Mormon polygamist clan in the U.S. Authorities call it an organized crime group. Concentrated in Salt Lake City, its...

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