The woman whose son accused Michael Jackson of child molestation was charged with welfare fraud Tuesday for allegedly collecting nearly $19,000 in payments while making false claims.
At Jackson’s trial, the woman invoked her Fifth Amendment protection against self-incrimination and refused to testify about the welfare matter.
But Jackson’s lawyers presented evidence that she and her family had received a $150,000 settlement in a 2001 lawsuit against a department store at a time when she was claiming to be poor. They also showed the woman was receiving money from her boyfriend to pay the rent on her apartment.
The complaint filed by the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office alleged that the woman hid from authorities the fact that she had received the settlement and also failed to report the receipt of $637 for payment of her rent in January 2003.
The Associated Press is withholding the name of the woman to protect the identity of her son.
The woman was a key witness for the prosecution against Jackson, who was acquitted of all charges. Many jurors said her lack of credibility on the witness stand was a major factor in their verdict.