Janet Arvizo Pleads Not Guilty to Welfare Fraud

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Mother Of Michael Jackson Accuser Pleads Not Guilty To Fraud Complaint Alleges Janet Arvizo Failed To Disclose Money From Lawsuit Settlement POSTED: 12:31 pm PDT September 6, 2005 UPDATED: 12:37 pm PDT September 6, 2005 LOS ANGELES — The mother of the boy who accused pop superstar Michael Jackson of child molestation pleaded not guilty Tuesday in a welfare fraud case brought by Los Angeles County prosecutors. Janet Arvizo, who appeared at the downtown Los Angeles courthouse a day ahead of her scheduled court date, was released on her own recognizance by Superior Court Commissioner James N. Bianco. Arvizo is due back in court Oct. 28, when a date is scheduled to be set for a hearing to determine if there is enough evidence to require her to stand trial. Arvizo’s attorney, Patricia J. Hattersley, said neither she nor her client had any comment following the brief court appearance. Arvizo, 37, was charged Aug. 23 with one count of aid by misrepresentation and four counts of perjury by false application for aid. All of the charges are felonies. The criminal complaint alleges that the crimes occurred between November 2001 and March 2003 and that Arvizo fraudulently received nearly $18,800 by failing to disclose money received from a lawsuit settlement. The alleged wrongdoing was not discovered until February of this year by an investigator from the Department of Public Social Services as a result of a tip from a private investigator, according to the complaint. Arvizo’s credibility came under attack when she testified in Jackson’s trial in Santa Maria, in which the singer was acquitted of all charges. During the trial, she refused to answer questions about welfare payments, invoking her Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination. Jackson’s legal team presented evidence that the woman and her family won a $150,000 settlement in a lawsuit against a department store during the time she claimed to be indigent. Source: http://www.nbc4.tv/entertainment/4940695/detail.html

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