Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Mother of Michael Jackson Accuser Charged with Fraud

The mother of the young man who accused Michael Jackson of molesting him, a trial which resulted in an acquittal, has now been charged with welfare fraud for not disclosing completely her financial assets, including a $150,000 settlement in a case involving a department store. The woman testified for the prosecution at the Jackson trial and asserted her Fifth Amendment right on cross-examination when defense counsel sought to impeach her regarding the false welfare claim.  Although the judge did not strike her testimony, asserting the privilege against self-incrimination likely damaged her credibility.  The Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office filed the welfare fraud charges alleging that she improperly received a little less than $19,000 in welfare payments, and a copy of the criminal complaint is available on The Smoking Gun (here).  An AP story (here) discusses the charges.  Just when you thought things could not get any weirder . . . (ph)

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