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Casey Parsons to be sentenced next week in federal court with husband Sandy

Missing teen

Erica Parsons

Erica Parsons

Though her sentencing was originally scheduled for today, a judge has granted a request for Casey Parsons, the adoptive mother of missing teen Erica Parsons, to be sentenced Feb. 18 in federal court alongside husband Sandy.

The pair were convicted of committing fraud and were initially scheduled to be sentenced separately — Casey today and Sandy next week. Sandy and Casey were arrested in July on a 76-count indictment that included mail fraud, tax fraud and identity theft. Court documents said the couple continued to receive adoption and health care benefits for Erica, who had not been living with them.

Erica had not been seen in nearly two years prior to law enforcement becoming involved and opening an investigation into her disappearance. No one had seen the teen since November 2011, but she was reported missing in July 2013.

The couple’s biological son, Jamie, told Rowan County Sheriff’s Office investigators he had not seen his sister in some time and initially pointed the finger at his parents, alleging they were responsible for her disappearance.

Casey and Sandy maintain they allowed Erica to leave their home and live with a woman who claimed to be Erica’s biological grandmother, Irene “Nan” Goodman. The Parsonses have said the woman they knew as Nan lived in Asheville, and Erica was with her.

Investigators and members of the Goodman family have said all along Irene Goodman does not exist. The Parsonses have not been charged in Erica’s disappearance. They are, however, facing prison time once sentenced on the fraud charges.

In a court document filed Feb. 3, United States District Judge Thomas Schroeder ordered the hearing take place Feb. 18 at 9:30 a.m. in a Winston-Salem federal courtroom.

The request came Jan. 30 from Assistant U.S. Attorney Anand Ramaswamy, who asked for the date change because the government, “intends to call the same witnesses who will testify to the same issues,” documents said.

The documents go on to say two witnesses are from outside of North Carolina and having the sentencing on the same day would be most efficient. The Parsonses have separate attorneys, who have agreed to the request.

The indictments say the Parsonses received government-funded adoption assistance, Medicaid, Social Security, and Food and Nutrition Services benefits for a dependent, Erica, after she ceased to live with them, and used the mail to commit the fraud.
In October, Sandy Parsons was found guilty of one count conspiracy to defraud the government, which carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine; one count of aggravated identity theft, which carries a mandatory sentence of two years, consecutive to any other sentence and a $250,000 fine; one count false statement to a government agency, which carries a maximum sentence of two years and a $250,000 fine; 20 counts of theft of government funds, which carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine and 20 counts of mail fraud, which carries a maximum of 20 years and a $250,000 fine.
Sandy is expected to go to federal prison for at least two years.
Casey Parsons accepted a plea agreement in September. She pleaded guilty to 15 counts of the 76-count indictment. She faces a prison term of one to five years in each count. The court dismissed the other counts.

A $50,000 reward is still in place for information about the disappearance of Erica Lynn Parsons. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Rowan County Sheriff’s Office, 1st. Lt. Chad Moose at 704-216-8687 or Investigator Sara Benfield at 704-216-8739.

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