A North Oaks couple pleaded guilty in federal court on Wednesday to to multiple fraud charges, according to the U.S. District Attorney's Office.
The couple, 69-year-old James H. Hood and 55-year-old Cynthia M. Hood, admitted that they left Louisiana after Hurricane Katrina to settle in Minnesota, bringing their three disabled children with them, and defrauded Medicaid and Social Security out of hundreds of thousands of dollars, the Star Tribune reported.
The couple pleaded guilty to mail fraud, health care fraud and theft of public money, reported the Star Tribune. Cynthia also pleaded guilty to making a false statement while seeking Social Security benefits for the children.
The Hoods admitted to lying about their income while applying for benefits for their disabled children. The couple's defense lawyer, Jean Brandl, described one of the children as "severely autistic" and the other as a quadriplegic from cerebral palsy, reported the Star Tribune.
James and Cynthia Hood face 20 years in prison with an additional 20 for James Hood and five for Cynthia Hood, reported the Pioneer Press.