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North Carolina adoptive parents accused of financial fraud

Two North Carolina residents have been arrested in connection with federal fraud allegations exactly one year after their adopted daughter was reported missing in Rowan County. The parents were arrested at their Fayetteville home on July 30, according to authorities. They are facing allegations of federal crimes related to Medicaid and other program-related fraud.

Officials say that the defendants are facing 76 charges after they allegedly continued to receive benefits after their adoptive daughter disappeared. Those included financial assistance in the amount of more than $630 every month for adoption aid, according to news sources. Further, the couple are accused of accepting federal and state money for nutrition programs for their daughter, along with Social Security income and other funds. The girl was home-schooled because she was afflicted with a learning disability and hearing problems.

The girl was apparently last seen in 2011, but she was not officially reported missing until July 2013. The girl's adoptive brother reported that the girl had been missing for 20 months after he had a fight with the couple. The girl has not yet been found. Investigators say they believe that the girl may have been abused. The case appears to be stymied at this point, however, with few credible leads. The couple had claimed that they sent the girl to live with her biological grandmother -- however, both of those women were dead at the time of the girl's disappearance.

This indictment does not deal directly with the girl's disappearance but rather with the alleged fraud that occurred afterward. The couple is accused of tax fraud, identity theft and mail fraud, among other federal crimes. No matter the nature of their alleged crimes, these defendants still deserve the full protection of the North Carolina judicial system. Every criminal defendant has the right to an unbiased legal proceeding.

Source: Charlotte Observer, "Casey, Sandy Parsons arrested on federal charges" Steve Lyttle and Cleve R. Wootson, Jul. 30, 2014

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