FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. -- Federal agents arrested the adoptive parents of a missing girl, Erica Parsons, on fraud charges, according to the U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of North Carolina.
FBI and IRS, Criminal Investigations agents arrested the couple Wednesday in Fayetteville, N.C. for charges stemming from February 2010 to August 2013.
Following the arrest, U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of North Carolina Ripley Rand released a 76-count criminal indictment, unsealed following the couple's arrest.
According to the document, Sandy Parsons, 40, and Casey Parsons, 39, are being charged with committing tax fraud, mail fraud, theft of government funds, identity theft, and engaging in a conspiracy to defraud the government.
The Parsons also allegedly took government money for adoption assistance, Medicaid, Social Security and Food and Nutrition Services benefits for a dependent that did not live with them; they also allegedly used the mail to commit the fraud.
Casey Parsons is also accused of illegally using the identities of other people, claiming them as dependents, and using other false information while preparing federal tax returns.
Sandy Parsons is also charged with one count of aggravated identity theft; and one count of false statement to a government agency.
Casey Parsons is also charged with one count of false pretense in a health care matter; two counts of Social Security fraud; 15 counts of aggravated identity theft; two counts of false statement to a government agency; six counts of aiding in the preparation of a false tax return; six counts of wire fraud; and one count of making false claim against the government.
The couple is charged with one count of conspiracy to defraud the government; 20 counts each of theft of government funds; and another 20 counts each of mail fraud.
The couple appeared in font of a federal judge in Winston-Salem Wednesday. The judge granted each of them a $25,000 secured bond. This means they'd be able to get out of prison if they posted $2,500.WBTV is reporting the couple told the judge they would not be able to get that amount of money.
Both of them will be held on an electronic monitoring system. The details around their restriction still need to be worked out.
WBTV is also reporting a scuffle broke out as the Parsons left court house in Winston-Salem Wednesday. Casey pushed aside the microphones to get into the back of a car.
The Rowan County Sheriff's Office worked with the FBI and the IRS' Criminal Investigations division during the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Anand Ramaswamy will prosecute the case.
Wednesday, the Rowan County Sheriff's Office announced an increase in reward for information on Erica Parsons' whereabouts. Prevent Child Abuse Rowan, a local advocacy group, has put forth $5000 to be added to the outstanding award for Erica's return, and the Rowan County Sheriff's Office is also adding an additional $10,000. With these award additions, the total award for information leading to the location of Erica now stands at $50,000.
Reward money break down:
- $25,000 from FBI
- $20,000 from Rowan County Sheriff's Office
- $5000 from Prevent Child Abuse Rowan
Sandy and Casey Parsons are the adoptive parents of Erica Parsons, who was reported missing July 30, 2013, by her adoptive brother. Family members say they have not seen her since November 2011.
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