Defense Proves Welfare Fraud, Explains Alarm – MB #269

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Defense Proves Welfare Fraud, Explains Alarm – MJEOL Bullet #269 MAY 27 2005 – Given that the defense and prosecution rested their cases today (May 27), we thought we should go back and look at some of the detailed facts presented to this jury. The broadcast media’s reporting of details of this case was incredibly lacking. It may be because of a lack of time. However, in comparison to the specific details reported, these talking heads definitely spent more time going over as many prosecution points they could comb out of this trial. Some of the inane, time wasting, and ridiculous arguments included discussions about what the arm band colors on Jackson’s jacket means, speculating endlessly about whether or not he will take the stand, etc. There were actual proceedings going on in that Santa Maria courtroom. You’d never know that, however, watching the talking heads whose preference is to whine about a playful photo snapped of Jackson making a face on the witness stand to the camera man during a court recess in a previous civil trial. Never mind Jackson’s broken foot at that time and his reported preference to stay in the witness box during court breaks so as not to be moved. Oh no! The public is subjected to whining and joking, instead of a full assessment of the ass-whopping the prosecution has been taking in the courtroom since the defense’s case started. Let’s focus on the details often overlooked. Coming on the heels of a reality check courtesy of Mark Geragos (we’ll get more into his testimony in a later Bullet), May 23 provided a more complete picture of the accusing family and how their “fraudulent matriarch” has systematically engaged in defrauding a number of people; setting her ‘woe-is-me’ trap to ensnare a number of celebrities and entities. Whether they want to admit it or not, Louise Polanker, Fritz Coleman and George Lopez were all taken by the family one way or another. Not to mention Chris Tucker, Michael Jackson, the Mid Valley News, and JC Penney. Poor JC Penney. One has to wonder if they have any recourse after this. __Chime/Alarm and Star Arvizo’s allegation__ Before getting into the mother’s welfare fraud, Maria Gomez’s testimony was rather interesting. Gomez, who has previously testified, was called back to the stand briefly to talk about the chime system in Jackson’s two-story personal living quarters (“bedroom”). Gomez worked at Neverland for over 10 years. One of the things she testified to was the fact that the alarm volume hadn’t been altered since the Arvizo family was at Neverland. At first, the prosecution tried to imply since the alarm volume on a defense tape and police video could be clearly heard from the 2nd story — where the main, large bed is located – then it must have been altered. They made the allegation because the accuser’s brother, Star Arvizo, claimed that when a person is upstairs (2nd story level of the “bedroom”), they could barely hear the chime going off….12 times. Not so, according to videotaped evidence and Gomez’s testimony. The defense has shown Jackson certainly would have been made aware of Star Arvizo’s presence if he claimed he actually snuck into Jackson’s “bedroom” just in time to witness “molestation” from the stairs….twice. As ridiculous as that already sounds, there’s still an issue as to whether it was even physically possible for the accuser’s brother to see what he claimed he saw from the vantage point he claims to have seen it. According to an AP report titled “Maid Testifies About Jackson Entry Alarm”:

The maid, Maria Gomez, was questioned about a test conducted by a defense witness to measure the volume of the alarm, which is a chime similar to those at the doors of convenience stores. She told defense attorney Robert Sanger that the alarm sounded at the same volume during the test earlier this year as it has for the last several years. (see Maid Testifies About Jackson Entry Alarm)

This hasn’t stopped the prosecution from trying to have it both ways. On one hand, prosecutors argue that the very existence of the chimes was for “sinister purposes”; that Jackson used the chimes to “alert” him to “stop molesting” when someone is near his “bedroom”. Now they’re arguing that maybe the chimes weren’t loud enough for Jackson to hear it. In internet language: WTF? What’s the point of having a “sinister” chime as an alarm that you can’t even hear?? It makes no sense at all and almost all of the observers in contact with MJEOL say that prosecutors simply can’t argue both sides of the coin. The “facts” can’t be changed to fit around whatever argument prosecutors are attempting to win at the time. In the defense’s videotaped evidence done by Laurence Zimmer, the chime/security alarm is clearly quite audible, and according to reports, goes off no less than 12 times. Reportedly, it is also clearly quite audible on the second story of Jackson’s “bedroom” The defense dug into the accuser’s brother’s allegation by putting on contradictory evidence; much to the chagrin of mostly the broadcast media, who seem to be having a nervous breakdown. They’re breaking down to the point where they have to revert back to crying about “sleeping in bed with little boys”, which is no longer an accurate representation. The sinister idea prosecutors tried to push just months ago has itself been struck down by testimony from several witnesses who say that girls, too, have slept in Jackson’s bed and/or “bedroom”. When defense put on that evidence, I’m sure prosecutors were thinking: *Gasp! Girls!? Girls!!? No way! That can’t be!!* In the end, prosecutors couldn’t show that this alarm was for a “sinister” purpose because they changed arguments, claiming that this alarm must not have been working when Star Arvizo allegedly just so happened to sneak into the “bedroom”, TWICE, just in the nick of time to see alleged “molestation”. How mighty coincidental that the chimes/alarm would NOT be working ONLY these two times. __Fraud is the name of the game__ A forensic accountant testified for the defense concerning Janet Arvizo’s accounts. Mike Radakovich broke down the actual take-home amount the accusing family got from that $152,000 settlement from JC Penney. He says the mother got $32,308 deposited into her account at Washington Mutual bank. For the record, she had also told people she didn’t even have a bank account. Even her new husband, Jay Jackson, seemed surprised when the defense revealed info about this while they were cross-examining him previously. Radakovich says $23,000 of that $32,308 was withdrawn by Arvizo via a cashier’s check made out to a Hollywood Ford dealership. None of this, by the way, was reported to any of the people giving the Arvizo’s money and gifts at the time. To that end, the defense called an employee of the Los Angeles County Dept of Public Social Services to testify. The defense had subpoenaed Arvizo’s records; records which weren’t unsealed until the intake worker was actually sworn in to testify. Mercy Manrriquez, the intake worker on the mother’s Nov 15 2001 welfare application, testified Arvizo didn’t declare any of this money on her form. She confirmed that if one lies on the welfare application, and their subsequent renewal forms, they have committed fraud. Some observers note the lunacy of someone who just received over $30,000 then having the audacity to even try to get welfare. This isn’t a “clerical” error. This isn’t filing out a form incorrectly by accident. It is willfully lying because she knew that if she declared all this money, her application for welfare may not have been eligible for those checks. From an AP article dated May 23 2005 titled “Accuser’s Mom Said to Defraud Welfare”:

“Would it be fraud to fail to disclose it at this point?” defense attorney Robert Sanger asked. “Yes it would be,” the witness said. Before the mother testified in the trial she invoked Fifth Amendment protection against self-incrimination on the welfare issue and was not required to testify about it. However, Superior Court Judge Rodney S. Melville allowed the defense to present records and testimony about it to jurors. (see Accuser’s Mom Said to Defraud Welfare)

According to the official transcripts, attorney Robert Sanger did make the point about the dependence on people to tell the truth on their applications; something Arvizo didn’t do. From the transcripts:

lines 22-28, 1-11 Q. Do you depend on people to be honest when they fill out a form like that, or fill out that particular form? A. Yes, we do. Q. And do you make decisions as to who should receive benefits based on the information in that form? A. Yes. Q. Is that form signed under penalty of perjury? A. Yes, it is. Q. Now, were you the actual eligibility worker who worked with Janet Arvizo to determine her eligibility? A. I was her intake worker. Q. All right. And so as the intake worker, you went over this form with her? A. Yes.

It is quite possible that the County of Los Angeles will prosecute Arvizo after this trial is over with. Not only did she lie about it on that Nov 15 2001 form, she continued to lie about it on her Oct 23 2002 “yearly affirmation” form; all the while receiving money from celebrities and other entities, and never declaring any of it. According to Manrriquez, Arvizo got money from L.A. Country’s Cal-Works program from Nov 2001 to March 2003. She got the JC Penney settlement in early Nov 2001 and was getting money from celebrities through fund raisers all this time as well; including help from Jackson. One of those $769.00 welfare checks from the Cal-Works programs received by Arvizo was dated Feb 15 2003 and deposited by Arvizo Feb 24 2003, right in the middle of the prosecution-alleged “conspiracy”/”kidnapping” allegation. I guess her “kidnappers” were nice enough to take her to a bank to deposit her check, too. What’s worse for Arvizo is that the federal government could also come down on Arvizo because some federal funds are used to fund the programs for which Arvizo lied to receive. Remember, she received that $32,308 check from JC Penney on Nov 5 2001. Gavin Arvizo got anywhere from $25-29,000. Star Arvizo received over $10,000 too. Arvizo was also obligated to fill out monthly forms related to this assistance from the Cal-Works program. Manrriquez testified that there is no set cut off date. She says that “as long as the participant has the resource they need to put it in no matter what the date is as to when they received it.” (20-22, p 11585) Arvizo was asked on that application “Does anyone get or expect to get money from any of the above resources, such as interest, dividends, et cetera?” To which Arvizo answered “No.” So Sanger asked the eligibilities worker if whether or not Arvizo would have to report if one of the kids had thousands of dollars in an account earning interest. Manrriquez said yes. These aren’t vague questions either. According to the transcripts, one of the questions on the assistance application is “Has anyone received money from insurance or court settlements, inheritance, lottery or back pay in the last three years (36 months)?” From the transcript:

lines 20-28 Q…Do you see that? A. Yes, I do. Q. And the “anyone” would be the applicant or the children of the applicant; is that correct? A. Correct. Q. Did Mrs. Arvizo disclose to you that she had just received a settlement, a court settlement, of $152,000, less attorney’s fees and costs? A. No. 11586

The point is that this is fraud. She has defrauded a public assistance system for money. There’s no way around that. Sanger asked the intake worker just get it on the record about whether or not this is fraud. From the transcript:

lines 1-8 Q. Would that have been a material consideration on your part in determining her eligibility? A. Yes. Q. And if she, in fact, had received such a settlement, would that be fraud, to fail to disclose it on this form? A. Yes, it would be. 11587

For the record, one member of the jury in the Jackson trial is a welfare eligibilities worker herself. Reports say she was taking a lot of notes when Manrriquez was testifying. According to Manrriquez, Arvizo was also asked on the form if anyone had any form of medical insurance. To which the mother answered no. Well, it’s already public knowledge that the accuser’s father’s Teamster insurance covered all of the accuser’s medical bills 100%. She also didn’t report she had a bank account or had access to a car. There was previous testimony at one point Jackson allowed the family use of an SUV; something you must report on the application and its subsequent renewal and status forms as well. Manrriquez says the mother claimed her situation was an “emergency” situation, meaning they expedited Janet Arvizo’s request as if she was in real trouble. Defense attorney Sanger asked Manrriquez if knowing the mother had received a check for over $32,000 would have changed the way they responded to the mother’s request. The intake worker said yes. On top of lying about her financial status on the original application, as mentioned previously, the mother had to fill out monthly/quarterly forms confirming that her circumstances had not changed from the original application. One of the questions on that application is “Did anyone receive money or benefits from any other source?” To which, of course, Arvizo checked no. As late as Jan 10 2003, Arvizo still hadn’t told the agency that she had received a settlement, nor had she revealed all the financial aid she was getting from Jackson and other sources. Another question on the application asks whether or not anyone had moved into her house or whether she moved into anyone else’s house. There were at least 3 checks in the year 2003, with the last one being March 17 2003. So as late as that time, they were still receiving welfare all while spending thousands of Jackson’s dollars. Sanger asked:

lines 22-28, 1 Q. If a person were receiving several thousand dollars for their living expenses from various sources, from a corporation and from an individual, during a period of time from February to early March, is that something that should have been reported by the person before accepting a March 17 welfare check? A. Yes. 11605-11606

Even with all this evidence, there were some broadcast knuckleheads who claimed all these omissions were simple mistakes. Making excuses for this “welfare cheat” would never be allowed if this were a defense witness guilty of this. One of the points being if she’ll lie under penalty of perjury on an application for a “measly” $32,000, she wouldn’t hesitate to lie under oath in a criminal case after which it is almost an absolute certaintly she and/or her spawn will file a civil suit. The defense also showed records that $7,000 was spent on this family, financed by Jackson, just during one week the family all claimed to have been “held hostage”. According to the AP, the financial info showed the family shopped, dined, and was put up in a beautiful hotel in the San Fernando Valley. From that report:

Purchases were made at a luggage store and for clothing from a Camarillo, Calif., shopping center. Charges included clothes from Banana Republic, Pacific Sunwear, Levi’s and Anchor Blue. For one two-day period the shopping total was $4,800, according to the records. (see Accuser’s Mom Said to Defraud Welfare)

Last time we checked, it isn’t standard procedure for kidnappers to put you up in expensive hotels and spend thousands of dollars on you. And no amount of shilling for the prosecution by these talking heads will change that. One sentiment is shared by almost all of the observers in contact with MJEOL: This family will be in a world of trouble regardless of what the verdict in this case is. It is fraud not to report the fact that she was living with Jay Jackson, having him pay her expenses, using his vehicle, and depositing her welfare checks into his account. It’s fraud not to report being taken care of by somebody else for 30 days whereby you receive thousands of dollars in gifts and free trips. It’s fraud not to report that your children got tens of thousands of dollars from a settlement. It’s fraud not to report the existence of a bank account where such money is being kept. It’s fraud not to disclose all of this information. And she’s not going to be able to blame any of this on her ex-husband. Too bad. Stay tuned. -MJEOL

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