Erica Parsons’ adoptive mother pleads guilty to fraud
GREENSBORO — The adoptive mother of missing teen Erica Parsons has pleaded guilty to federal fraud charges, according to documents on file with the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina.
Casey Parsons pleaded guilty to 15 counts of a 76-count indictment. The other counts will be dismissed.
Charges she pleaded guilty to were conspiracy to defraud the federal government, mail fraud, aiding in the preparation of a false tax return, wire fraud and aggravated identity theft.
Sentencing is scheduled for Feb. 10.
Sandy Parsons, Erica’s adoptive father, faces the same charges. The case against him is still pending, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said in a statement.
Both had initially pleaded not guilty to the charges, which were filed in July.
Erica was reported missing on July 30, 2013, by the Parsonses’ biological son, Jamie Parsons.
Jamie, now 21, told Rowan County Sheriff’s investigators he’d not seen his sister since November or December 2011.
Casey and Sandy maintain they allowed Erica to live with her biological paternal grandmother, Irene Goodman, a woman they knew as Nan, who lived in Asheville. Investigators and members of the Goodman family have said there is no Irene Goodman.
The Parsonses have not been charged in Erica’s disappearance.
The indictment alleges that from February 2010 to August 2013, Sandy Parsons, 40, and Casey Parsons, 39, committed tax fraud, mail fraud, theft of government funds, and identity theft, and engaged in a conspiracy to defraud the government.
The indictment alleges that the Parsonses received government-funded adoption assistance, Medicaid, Social Security, and Food and Nutrition Services benefits for a dependent who did not live with them and used the mail to commit the fraud.
The indictment also alleges that Casey Parsons fraudulently used the identities of other persons as dependents and used other false information when preparing federal tax returns.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office said Casey Parsons pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to defraud the government, which carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine; five counts of mail fraud, each of which carries a maximum sentence of twenty years in prison and a $250,000 fine; four counts of aiding in the preparation of a false tax return, each of which carries a maximum sentence of three years in prison and a $250,000 fine; four counts of wire fraud, each of which carries a maximum sentence of twenty years in prison and a $250,000 fine; and one count of aggravated identity theft, which carries a mandatory sentence of two years, consecutive to any other sentence, and a $250,000 fine.
Casey Parsons remains out of custody on pretrial release pending sentencing.