Casey Parsons takes stand in fraud trial

Published 10:40 am Saturday, October 25, 2014

Sandy Parsons — the adoptive father of missing teen Erica Parsons —  took the stand in his own defense Friday during his trial on federal fraud charges and deflected blame to his wife, who earlier took a plea deal on the same charges.

A jury began deliberating Friday afternoon but did not reach a verdict. Deliberations will resume Monday morning.

Sandy Parsons is accused of committing tax fraud, mail fraud, theft of government funds, and identity theft, and engaging in a conspiracy to defraud the government.

The government alleges that Sandy Parsons and his wife Casey received government-funded adoption assistance, Medicaid, Social Security, and Food and Nutrition Services benefits for a dependent who did not live with them — Erica Parsons — and used the mail to commit the fraud.

Casey Parsons pleaded guilty earlier this month to 15 counts of the 76-count indictment. The other counts were 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.

Her sentencing is scheduled for Feb. 10.

According to news outlets, Sandy Parsons was the only defense witness called after the government presented its evidence. Fox46 reported that Sandy Parsons testified he simply signed papers his wife put in front of him without reading them and that “Casey tells me what I have to do.”

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 late 2011.

Casey and Sandy have maintained they allowed Erica to leave their home and live with a woman they believed was her biological paternal grandmother, a woman they knew as Irene “Nan” Goodman. Investigators and members of the Goodman family have said there is no Irene Goodman.

The Parsonses have not been charged in Erica’s disappearance.