|Mickey and Minnie Mouse (illustration)|
A mother who wanted money for expensive cosmetic surgery, decided to steal her own daughter's cash, according to police in New York.
The New York Police Department said that they have arrested 31-year-old Megan Mele of Queens, after stealing the money that her 11-year-old daughter received as part of a settlement following a lawsuit.
Mele has been sentenced to jail and probation after pleading guilty to grand larceny for stealing more than $65,000 from her pre-teen daughter’s malpractice lawsuit settlement.
Mele used the money to finance a Disneyland trip, cosmetic surgery, online shopping and other splurges. Mele will spend six months in jail followed by five years of probation.
According to the criminal complaint, a settlement was reached in a medical malpractice lawsuit on behalf of Megan Mele’s daughter, who was born with a brachial plexus injury to her right arm.
The child has extremely limited function from her right shoulder down to her hand. The agreed settlement was structured for the girl to receive payments starting after her 18 birthday.
As part of the settlement, an account to benefit the little girl containing more than $50,000 was established at Cross County Federal Savings Bank.
Mele was required to submit requests to the court before making any withdrawals from the bank account. Last year, Mele petitioned the judge in charge of the case to approve a withdrawal of $47,000.
The judge denied her request.
However, several days later, Mele submitted a forged court order to withdraw the funds, purportedly for the child to undergo surgery at a San Diego children’s Hospital in California.
A bank check was issued in Mele’s name on that date for $47,000.
An investigation revealed that there was no record of the girl being a patient at the San Diego hospital. Mele used a portion of the funds for a trip to Disneyland in California.
Mele later submitted forged court orders to the bank requesting a total of $19,500 on three additional occasions. Bank checks were issued in Mele’s name.
Mele used another forged court order to request the remaining $633 in the account, but the bank denied her request.
In addition to the trip to Disneyland, Mele spent the money on a liposuction procedure, for a tummy tuck, airline tickets, Amazon.com purchases and purchases at retail stores.