UPDATE: Linda Weston was given a life sentence as a result of her actions.
Posted on Aug 08, 2012
Linda Weston, her boyfriend Gregory Thomas, and Eddie Thomas face charges of kidnapping, conspiracy, assault, and more for allegedly keeping at least five mentally handicapped people locked up in attics, closets, and basements while they cashed their Social Security disability checks over the last ten years. The trio will no longer face charges of neglect of a dependent-care person since the court ruled last month the defendants never held themselves out as caretakers.
Weston is a paroled killer who spent time in prison for slow starvation of a man she kept locked up more than 20 years ago.
The landlord of the Philadelphia apartment building where the group lived found the disabled people—three men and two women—locked in a cramped and filthy boiler room. One man was chained to a boiler.
The victims were suffering from malnutrition and sustained physical injuries. They suffered disfiguring scars, cauliflower ears, welts, and bruises on their bodies from alleged physical assaults they endured over the years.
Authorities also removed eight juveniles from Weston’s care. Two of the children were conceived by two of the victims and were being raised by Weston and Thomas.
When they searched Weston’s house, authorities found dozens of identification cards, Social Security cards, and power of attorney documents. One victim, 31-year-old Edwin Sanabria, testified previously that when he moved in with Linda Weston, she took him to the Social Security office and took over his financial affairs. He never saw his $674 benefit check or food stamps.
The Social Security Administration, prompted by this case, is currently testing changes to the disability benefit representative payee screening process to prevent abuse like this from happening again.
A York Social Security disability attorney at Schmidt Kramer Injury Lawyers has been following this case closely. Our injury lawyers and support staff are deeply saddened to learn of the abuse and extends condolences to the victims and their families.
Schmidt Kramer - Ph: (888) 476-0807