Federal charges announced in Philly basement case

A grand jury in Philadelphia alleges that several disabled adults were confined in subhuman conditions in a scheme to steal their Social Security benefits, and that two people died as a result.

FILE - In this Feb. 11, 2005, file photo rolls of blank social security checks run through printers and are processed at the U.S. Treasury's Financial Management services facility in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Bradley C Bower, file)

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — A grand jury in Philadelphia alleges that several disabled adults were confined in subhuman conditions in a scheme to steal their Social Security benefits, and that two people died as a result.

The indictment unsealed Wednesday charges 52-year-old Linda Weston and four others with offenses including hate crimes, kidnapping, murder in aid of racketeering and forced human labor. Prosecutors say it's the first time the federal hate crimes statute has been used to protect the disabled.

The case stems from the October 2011 discovery of malnourished victims locked in the basement of a Philadelphia apartment building. Weston has pleaded not guilty to related state charges.

Authorities say Weston tricked victims into allowing her to be their caretaker. They allege Weston illegally reaped $212,000 in disability payments over 10 years.
Associated Press
Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Join the Conversation!

To comment, the following rules must be followed:

  • No Obscenity, Profanity, Vulgarity, Racism or Violent Descriptions
  • No Negative Community Comparisons
  • No Fighting, Name-calling, or Personal Attacks
  • Multiple Accounts are Not Allowed
  • Stay on Story Topic

Comments may be monitored for inappropriate content, but the station is under no legal obligation to do so.
If you believe a comment violates the above rules, please use the Flagging Tool to alert a Moderator.
Flagging does not guarantee removal.

Multiple violations may result in account suspension.
Decisions to suspend or unsuspend accounts are made by Station Moderators.
Links require admin approval before posting.
Questions may be sent to webmaster@wvlt-tv.com. Please provide detailed information.

powered by Disqus

WVLT VOLUNTEER TV

6450 Papermill Drive Knoxville, TN 37919 Phone - (865) 450-8888; Fax - (865) 450-8869
Gray Television, Inc. - Copyright © 2014 WVLT-TV Inc. - Designed by Gray Digital Media - Powered by Clickability 188078621 - local8now.com/a?a=188078621