NEW YORK (AP) A woman pleaded guilty to fraud Tuesday for using fake names to adopt 11 disabled children and rake in more than $1 million in subsidies, while she restrained the children and failed to send them to school.
Judith Leekin, 63, admitted that she used plastic ties to restrain the children and prevent them from getting out of bed, and that she sent officials phony school report cards to qualify for the adoption subsidies. She agreed to forfeit the $1.68 million in subsidies she collected over nearly two decades.
Leekin adopted the children in New York City between 1988 and 1996, then moved to Florida in 1998. She faces abuse charges there alleging she kept the children like prisoners in her home.
The children are now ages 16 to 28. Nine are in foster or group homes, Harllee said