PHILADELPHIA (AP) - Prosecutors have announced federal charges against five people in a case in which authorities say mentally disabled adults were held in the basement of a Philadelphia home as part of an alleged Social Security fraud scheme.
Federal prosecutors unsealed an indictment Wednesday against 52-year-old Linda Weston, the alleged ringleader, and four others. It alleges Weston and her associates carried out a racketeering enterprise that targeted mentally disabled victims as part of a scheme to steal their Social Security disability payments. It also alleges Weston's scheme of confinement and abuse caused the deaths of two victims.
Charges include hate crimes, kidnapping, murder in aid of racketeering, theft from government and other counts. The indictment names Weston, her daughter and two others. It also names a fifth defendant, 26-year-old West Palm Beach, Fla., resident Nicklaus Woodard.
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