While single parents all over the world struggle to get their exes to financially kick in for their children, Johna Vandermore tricked one man into paying child support for a child that didn’t exist for six whole years.
The relationship between Vandermore and the man, who was only identified by his initials in court documents, was brief. After it ended, Vandermore told the man she was pregnant, and he agreed to help her financially to the tune of $1,000 a month. In addition to the $1,000 monthly child support payments, the man agreed to help with other expenses as needed, such as medical bills, and sent extra money fround Christmas and the date that Vandermore chose for their non-existent child’s birthday.
In total, the man made more than 90 payments to Vandermore in six years for a total of $95,850.
For her part, Vandermore produced a fake birth certificate from a hospital that didn’t exist and sent the man pictures of her cousin’s baby girl, claiming the baby was theirs. Vandermore lived in Iowa, while the man lived in Minneapolis, Minnesota, so although daily contact would have been out of the question, it remains unclear why the man never attempted to visit the child he so firmly believed existed — and for which he paid so dearly.
In the meantime, Vandermore married and never mentioned to her husband that she received $1,000 payments monthly to a post office box. When he discovered the extra income, she told him that she was working for Herbalife, a company that sells nutrition supplements.
But Vandermore’s scheme came to an end when the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the local police department began to investigate her. Vandermore was charged with mail fraud and recently pleaded guilty to it. It is unclear as to why the FBI and local police began to investigate Vandermore, but it’s obvious that an investigation was necessary.
Mail fraud carries with with a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison, but Vandermore will only spend 18 months behind bars.
In addition to her time in prison, Vandermore has also been ordered to pay restitution to the man who forked over nearly $100,000 for a child that she simply made up.
Vandermore’s attorney, Donovan Robertson, attempted to blame the victim himself. Claiming that Vandermore initially did believe she was pregnant with the man’s child, Robertson said the initial payments she asked for were asked for in good faith. But after realizing she was not actually pregnant, the scheme to collect money from the man continued on its “own inertia.”
Furthermore, Robertson claimed Vandermore’s deception could have been stopped much earlier if the man had made attempts to be involved in his fake kid’s life, possibly by requesting in-person visits.
“These things are not intended to foist responsibility of the victim, but, to show the ease with which a house of cards could have been toppled,” Robertson claimed.
Texas man Willie Carson could possibly commiserate with the unnamed man. He himself has been forced to pay a tremendous amount in child support for a daughter who DNA proves to not be his own. For more on that story, click here.
[Photo via imgbuddy]