Warren Jeffs

Warren Jeffs Net Worth, Early Life, Career, Personal Life [2024]

Warren Jeffs is one of the most infamous religious leaders in modern history. As the leader of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (FLDS Church), his life has been marred by controversy, legal troubles, and extreme practices. In this article, we’ll share Jeffs’ net worth, early life, career, and personal life, providing a comprehensive overview of his impact and legacy.

Full Name Warren Steed Jeffs
Date of Birth December 3, 1955
Place of Birth Sacramento, California, USA
Position Former President of the FLDS Church
Net Worth Estimated around $120 million before arrest
Number of Wives Reportedly 87
Number of Children Over 50
Conviction Sexual assault of minors, life sentence plus 20 years
Current Status Incarcerated in Texas, still influencing FLDS Church

Warren Jeffs Net Worth

Warren Jeffs’ financial empire was largely built on his control over the FLDS Church’s vast assets. As the leader, he wielded significant power over the United Effort Plan (UEP) trust, which held extensive real estate properties in Colorado City, Arizona, and Hildale, Utah. These properties were valued at over $100 million, contributing significantly to his wealth.

Jeffs leveraged the trust to expand his real estate portfolio, often using the labor of FLDS members who worked for little or no pay. This arrangement allowed him to amass considerable wealth while keeping expenses minimal. Members of the church were required to contribute financially, with families often paying substantial monthly fees as “donations” to the church. These donations, coupled with the income generated from real estate, formed the backbone of Jeffs’ financial empire.

Additionally, Jeffs received direct financial contributions from church members. These donations were mandatory, with each family expected to pay between $500 to $1,000 per month. This steady stream of income was funneled into the church’s coffers, further enriching Jeffs and consolidating his financial power.

Jeffs also made strategic investments in real estate through the UEP trust. By purchasing and developing land in areas predominantly inhabited by FLDS members, he ensured a continuous flow of rent and other real estate-related income. The trust owned over 700 properties, which significantly boosted his wealth.

Before his arrest in 2006, Warren Jeffs had amassed a net worth estimated to be around $120 million. This wealth was not only a result of his control over church assets but also his ability to exploit his followers’ labor and financial contributions. The UEP trust alone held land assets valued at $114 million, showcasing the extent of his financial influence.

Early Life

Warren Steed Jeffs was born on December 3, 1955, in Sacramento, California. He was born prematurely to Rulon Jeffs and Marilyn Steed. Warren grew up in a large, polygamous family as his father had multiple wives and numerous children. Rulon Jeffs later became the president of the FLDS Church, a position of significant influence within the community.

Warren’s childhood was steeped in the strict religious practices of the FLDS Church. He was raised just outside Salt Lake City, Utah, in an environment that emphasized discipline and adherence to the church’s teachings. Warren attended local FLDS schools where he was known for his strict behavior and adherence to rules. His early education was deeply influenced by his father’s religious convictions and the community’s practices.

Growing up in such a controlled environment, Warren quickly adapted to the rigid lifestyle imposed by the FLDS. This upbringing played a crucial role in shaping his future leadership style. Warren’s early life was not just about following the rules but also preparing for a future where he would enforce them with an iron fist.


Warren Jeffs’ career began in earnest when he took on the role of principal at Alta Academy, an FLDS school near Salt Lake City, Utah. At a young age, he was known for his strict adherence to the rules and his disciplinarian approach. This early role set the stage for his eventual rise to power within the FLDS Church.

Jeffs served as a counselor to his father, Rulon Jeffs, who was the leader of the FLDS Church. Rulon’s leadership was marked by his control over the church’s extensive assets and his promotion of polygamy. Warren learned much from his father during this period, absorbing the principles of control and authority that he would later apply in his leadership.

In 2002, following the death of Rulon Jeffs, Warren assumed leadership of the FLDS Church. His ascent was marked by a swift and decisive consolidation of power. He declared himself the Prophet, Seer, and Revelator, positions that gave him supreme authority over the church and its members. Warren’s leadership style was authoritarian, characterized by strict control over the lives of his followers.

One of his first major moves was to relocate the church’s headquarters to the YFZ Ranch in Texas. Here, he further isolated his followers from the outside world, ensuring complete control over their lives. Under his rule, the FLDS Church continued its practice of polygamy, with Warren personally overseeing and arranging marriages, often between young girls and much older men.

Jeffs’ leadership extended beyond spiritual guidance. He controlled the church’s financial resources, real estate holdings, and even the daily activities of his followers. He demanded absolute obedience, and any dissent was met with severe punishment. His rule was marked by a series of controversial and oppressive measures aimed at maintaining his grip on power.

Legal Troubles and Fugitive Status

Warren Jeffs’ reign was not without significant legal challenges. In the early 2000s, accusations of sexual misconduct and illegal marriages began to surface. By 2005, he was formally charged with conspiring to commit sexual misconduct with a minor. Jeffs fled to avoid arrest, leading to a nationwide manhunt.

In 2006, after over a year on the run, Warren Jeffs was captured near Las Vegas. He was found with multiple cell phones, disguises, and a significant amount of cash, indicating his efforts to evade law enforcement. His capture marked the beginning of a series of legal battles that would ultimately lead to his downfall.

In 2007, Warren Jeffs was convicted on charges of being an accessory to ra*e. Although this conviction was later overturned, he faced new charges in Texas for the sexual assault of minors. In 2011, he was found guilty and sentenced to life in prison plus 20 years. Despite his imprisonment, Jeffs continued to exert influence over the FLDS Church, maintaining contact with his followers and issuing directives from behind bars.

Jeffs’ career is a stark reminder of how absolute power can corrupt and lead to devastating consequences for those under such influence. His leadership of the FLDS Church was characterized by extreme control, abuse of power, and a disregard for the well-being of his followers, especially women and children.

Personal Life

Warren Jeffs’ personal life is deeply intertwined with the practice of polygamy, a cornerstone of the FLDS Church’s beliefs. As the leader, he took multiple wives, a number that reportedly reached as high as 87. His marriages were not only numerous but also controversial, often involving very young girls. This practice extended the church’s belief that polygamy was essential for exaltation in the afterlife.

Jeffs didn’t just have a large number of wives; he also exerted control over the marriages of his followers. He had the authority to assign wives to husbands, and he used this power to maintain loyalty and obedience within the community. This included reassigning wives and children from one man to another as a form of punishment or reward. Such practices ensured that he retained tight control over the personal lives of his followers.

His favorite wife, Naomi Jessop, became a prominent figure within the FLDS Church. She often acted as his confidant and intermediary, further cementing his control over the community. Naomi’s role underscored the personal loyalty and absolute obedience Jeffs demanded from those closest to him.

Legal Troubles and Conviction

Warren Jeffs’ personal life cannot be discussed without addressing the significant legal troubles that eventually led to his downfall. Accusations of sexual misconduct began to surface in the early 2000s. These included charges of marrying underage girls to adult men and engaging in sexual relations with minors himself. His nephew, Brent Jeffs, filed a lawsuit in 2004, alleging that Warren had ra*ed him as a child.

These accusations led to a series of legal battles. In 2005, he was formally charged with sexual misconduct involving a minor. To avoid arrest, Jeffs went on the run, earning a spot on the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted Fugitives list. He was eventually captured in 2006 near Las Vegas, ending his fugitive status.

In 2007, Jeffs was convicted of being an accessory to ra*e in Utah. Although this conviction was later overturned, he faced new charges in Texas for sexual assault of minors. In 2011, he was found guilty and sentenced to life in prison plus 20 years. Despite his imprisonment, Jeffs maintained his influence over the FLDS Church, continuing to issue directives to his followers from behind bars.

Frequently Asked Questions (F.A.Q)

What is Warren Jeffs’ current status?

Warren Jeffs is currently serving a life sentence plus 20 years in a Texas prison. He was convicted in 2011 for sexually assaulting two minors. Despite his imprisonment, Jeffs continues to have a significant influence over the FLDS Church. He communicates with his followers through letters and messages, often using coded language to evade prison monitoring. His followers still regard him as their prophet and pray for his release.

How did Warren Jeffs control the FLDS Church?

Warren Jeffs maintained control over the FLDS Church through a combination of authoritarian rule, financial manipulation, and psychological pressure. As the leader, he controlled the church’s extensive assets and demanded substantial financial contributions from his followers. Jeffs arranged marriages within the community, often involving underage girls, to reinforce loyalty and obedience.

What was Warren Jeffs’ net worth before his imprisonment?

Before his arrest, Warren Jeffs’ net worth was estimated to be around $120 million. This wealth stemmed primarily from his control over the United Effort Plan (UEP) trust, which held extensive real estate properties valued at over $100 million. Jeffs also received significant financial contributions from FLDS members, who were required to donate a portion of their income to the church. His exploitation of followers’ labor for construction and maintenance projects further contributed to his wealth.

What led to Warren Jeffs’ legal troubles and conviction?

Warren Jeffs’ legal troubles began in the early 2000s when accusations of sexual misconduct and illegal marriages surfaced. In 2005, he was formally charged with conspiring to commit sexual misconduct with a minor. Jeffs went on the run, leading to a nationwide manhunt. He was captured in 2006 and faced multiple charges, including being an accessory to sexual assault of minors.

Wrapping Up

Warren Jeffs’ story is a striking example of how absolute power can lead to corruption and abuse. His rise to power within the FLDS Church, marked by strict control and authoritarian rule, left a profound impact on his followers. Jeffs’ ability to manipulate and exploit his followers financially and emotionally allowed him to amass significant wealth and maintain his grip on the church, even from behind bars.

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