LOS ANGELES – The woman whose son accused Michael Jackson (search) of child molestation in a trial that led to Jackson's acquittal was charged with welfare fraud Tuesday in a five-count complaint alleging she collected $18,782 in payments while making false claims she was indigent.
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.
The five-count complaint filed by the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Bureau of Fraud and Corruption Prosecutions alleges the woman hid from authorities the fact that she had received the settlement and also failed to report the receipt of 637-dollars for payment of her rent in January, 2003.
The complaint said the payment occurred in February, 2003, but was not discovered until a social services inveistgator received a tip from a private investigator on February second, 2005. That was just before the Jackson trial began.
The woman was the key witness for the prosecution against Jackson.