Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Man Fakes Retardation

So, I just read a news story on AOL where a man has been faking mental retardation for the past 20 years so that his mother and he could receive government benefits. And while this is a serious story about abusing the system, I can't help but think of Rosie faking retardation in Riding the Bus with my Sister. I know it's not PC to make fun of mental retardation, but it seems of all the ailments to fake, that would be the last one I would pick.
For nearly 20 years - ever since Pete Costello was 8 - his mother has collected disability benefits on his behalf. In meetings with Social Security officials and psychologists, he appeared mentally retarded and unable to communicate. His mother insisted he couldn't read or write, shower, take care of himself or drive a car.

But now prosecutors say it was all a huge fraud, and they have video of Costello contesting a traffic ticket to prove it.

"He's like any other person trying to get out of a traffic ticket," Assistant U.S. Attorney Norman Barbosa said Tuesday.

Pete and Rosie Marie Costello were indicted in September on charges of conspiracy to defraud the government and Social Security fraud, and the case was unsealed Tuesday. The Vancouver pair pleaded not guilty in federal court in Tacoma on Tuesday after the case was unsealed. The traffic ticket was deferred.

No comments: