Posted by The Associated Press on
A grand jury has indicted a Houston woman on a felony theft charge, alleging she pocketed thousands of dollars meant to support her seven adoptive children who were found abandoned at a Nigerian orphanage in 2004.
HOUSTON — A grand jury has indicted a Houston woman on a felony theft charge, alleging she pocketed thousands of dollars meant to support her seven adoptive children who were found abandoned at a Nigerian orphanage in 2004.
Mercury Liggins, 49, was being held at the Harris County Jail in lieu of $880,000 bail.
"She was receiving adoption subsidies for the children while they were in Africa," Child Protective Services spokeswoman Estella Olguin said in Wednesday editions of the Houston Chronicle. "She was getting close to $500 for each one of the children."
The children, some of them sick and malnourished, were discovered in August 2004 in Nigeria by an American missionary who learned they were from Houston and wanted to go home. The church's pastor told two congressmen, and arrangements were made to return them to Texas.
Liggins has said she trusted her brother-in-law to care for the children in Nigeria in 2003 while she took a job in Iraq, working for Houston-based Halliburton subsidiary KBR.
According to the indictment handed up last month, Liggins also is accused of receiving fraudulent Social Security disability checks.
The children are in foster care.
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