Sunday, March 11, 2012

Couple Guilty of Fraud Leave Kids on School Bus While in Prison

As I've noted in previous posts, my new release Pabby's Score covers many topics that are hot on today's news radar.  Among them is the prevalence of insurance fraud that seeps through our hospitals, pharmacies, home construction services, and many other areas, leaving many ruined reputations and creating its fair share of criminals.  And, sadly, there are plenty of innocent victims of insurance fraud as well.  It's not just a matter of manipulating numbers and records.

Two children were found living in a school bus in Texas and apparently had been there for a long period of time, ever since their parents were sent to separate federal prisons following their convictions on fraud  charges after they stole money from victims of Hurricane Ike in 2008.  The five-year-old boy and eleven-year-old girl were reported to be living in squalid conditions by a postal worker who reported the situation to authorities.  They had been home-schooled by their parents through the mail for the past year, making them essentially recluses from adults who could have noticed the problem much earlier. 

In interviews from prison, the parents insisted their children were well-cared for, as they had an aunt staying with them at night and the bus had been converted to provide running water, heat, and toilets.  The mother shared that she is being released next month and looks forward to taking care of her kids and moving forward.  That goal may be in doubt, though.  The kids are in the custody of child protective services and I doubt authorities will be particularly anxious to hand them back over to mom considering what she thought would be appropriate living conditions in her absence.

It just goes to show that there often are more unusual people in real life than we ever could create for a novel.  Let's hope that once these two finish their time for fraud against others in Texas, the guilty characters in this instance face the consequences they deserve for the way they left their children.  


Unknown said...

That is horrible in so many ways! But to try to get into their heads (I can't help it), I wonder if they were very poor, doing WHATEVER it took to care of their kids (even if that meant living on a bus converted into a trailer and performing fraud). Though I wonder why not just get state or federal aid. Obviously it's not about not wanting to take the money, since they performed fraud. As for the kids' conditions, it's impossible, IMO, to say whether they were living in squalor when their parents were home. This could have been a result to the kids becoming parentless. And, if this is the case, why the court not aware of the kids' existence and why did they not ensure the kids would be staying with an adult while the parents were in jail? And if these conditions existed sooner, and were reported earlier, why wasn't the situation checked into BEFORE the parents were ever even caught? Makes you think maybe the living conditions weren't as bad when the parents were still at home. No matter how you slice it, this is a bad situation. Bad parents, who may or may not have been well intention-ed, and also a failing of the system.

Gerry Wendel said...

This story is unbelievable! I hope those children are placed in a great home and go on to have the lives they deserve. WHOA! Yes, this is an example of what a writer can dream up for a book. So sad that this is real.