Man Accused of Faking Retardation

By | December 5, 2006

Man Accused of Faking Retardation

For nearly 20 years – ever since Pete Costello was 8 – his mother has collected disability benefits on his behalf. In meetings with Social Security officials and psychologists, he appeared mentally retarded and unable to communicate. His mother insisted he couldn’t read or write, shower, take care of himself or drive a car. But now prosecutors say it was all a huge fraud, and they have video of Costello contesting a traffic ticket to prove it.

Pete and Rosie Marie Costello were indicted in September on charges of conspiracy to defraud the government and Social Security fraud, and the case was unsealed Tuesday. … The indictment accuses Costello of faking – or at least exaggerating – retardation since August 1997, because that is what prosecutors are confident they can prove, Barbosa said. But the pair first received benefits 10 years before that. The benefits cited in the indictment totaled $111,000. – forbes

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