When the mother of Michael Jackson's accuser invoked the 5th Amendment rather than testify about her welfare history on Friday, even the prosecutor said she “may have committed perjury in certain of her applications.”
NBC News has learned that those applications for welfare and food stamps show the mother claimed she had virtually no assets after she'd received a six-figure court settlement and tens of thousands in donations for her cancer patient son.
On Nov. 5, 2001, the mother's lawyer distributed than $100,000 from J.C. Penney and Tower Records, whose security guards, she claimed in a lawsuit, had beaten and sexually assaulted her after her older son had been caught with clothes that hadn't been paid for.
At least $32,000 of that settlement money was deposited in one bank account, with separate interest bearing trusts set up for each of her sons.
Yet 10 days after the payout, she said in her welfare applications — under penalty of perjury — that she and her children had no money from any source, including court settlements, bank accounts or interest income. She also said they had no health insurance even though her ex-husband's policy was, and remains, in force.
In monthly eligibility reports and in a re-application in October 2002, the accuser's mother re-affirmed those answers, and collected benefits until March 2003.
A Jackson family lawyer who's not part of the singer's trial defense has formally asked the Los Angeles District Attorney to investigate the accuser's mother.