The Chicagoist will be launching later but in the meantime please enjoy our archives.

Now THAT'S Retarded

By Jocelyn Geboy in News on Feb 27, 2007 9:13PM

Seriously. Look it up. What Rosie Costello did to her kids falls under the first definition. She asked them to fake mental retardation (now having the preferred term developmentally disabled — DD for short) so that she could collect Social Security benefits on their behalf. Wow. She coached her kids starting with her daughter at age 4, and later taught her son. He pretended to be mentally retarded into his mid-20s, "picking at his face, slouching and appearing uncommunicative in meetings with Social Security officials."

2007_02socialsecurity.jpgAll in all, Rosie Costello admitted in U.S. District Court that she collected more than $280,000 in benefits, back to the mid-80s. Her 26-year-old son, Pete, pleaded guilty to Social Security fraud and conspiracy to defraud the government after Social Security workers became suspicious and found video of Pete ably defending himself over a traffic ticket. They have not yet found his sister, Marie.

Huh? What the hell? Did she not have them in school? Did they have to go to a special school and pretend they were disabled all day? Or did she keep them at home and promise them toys and stuff with the money she was getting? This is so bizarre, we can't even get our minds around it. We understand that you can manipulate a small child, especially if you are the parent, so that sucks, but why? Why go to all this trouble? How about getting a job? And what are these kids like today? (Except for facing prison time and a lot of debt, that is.)

This story was listed under "local news." Although we searched for a local connection, we are still curious as to why the Trib placed it there. However, the story was so ridic that we still wanted to call this lady out.

"Social Security card" via Brittanie Shey.