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Michigan Mom Allegedly Embezzled Nearly Half A Million From Her Sick Son's Funds

Kasie Pruden-Rivera was supposed to spend the money in ways that benefitted her son.

By Gina Tron
Horrific Family Tragedies When Parents Lost Control

The son was sick and the mom got rich.

A Michigan mother faces jail time for allegedly embezzling more than $400,000 from the estate of her 9-year-old son who suffered health problems.

Kasie Pruden-Rivera, of Charlotte, pleaded no contest Thursday to one count of embezzling more than $100,000. Even though she did not plead guilty, she will be treated as such when she is sentenced June 28, according to The Associated Press. She could spend up to 20 behind bars, but since she has no prior convictions, she will likely spend no more than 20 months in jail.

Pruden-Rivera and her ex-husband Higinio Rivera received millions of dollars for their son's health after the boy, Haiden Rivera, suffered a birth trauma. Pruden-Rivera said the trauma left him with cerebral palsy, permanent brain damage and other health problems, according to court records.

The U.S. Justice Department created a $3 million trust for his medical care, and another $650,000 was set aside for his living expenses. 

Haiden was born in 2008 at Darnall Army Medical Center at Fort Hood, Texas, while his father was a soldier. The couple filed a lawsuit against the hospital and the Army that said the baby suffered brain damage because the doctors neglected signs of distress before his birth. The lawsuit also said doctors failed to perform a cesarean section on Pruden-Rivera. Instead, she was given Pitocin to induce childbirth despite heart rate abnormalities. The couple has blamed some of the baby’s health issues on the doctor not performing a cesarean section soon enough and on the Pitocin. Soon after being born, Haiden began suffering seizures.

The family reached settlements in 2013 and Pruden-Rivera was appointed to manage the money and spend it only for Haiden's benefit.

Pruden-Rivera spent about $240,000 on a house, which the courts found justifiable, but the rest of the money is unaccounted for. She allegedly spent it on cars, other people and on herself, according to the Lansing State Journal.

In addition to pleading no contest to embezzlement, Pruden-Rivera also pleaded guilty to misdemeanor charges of animal cruelty and having unlicensed dogs. As a result of the guilty plea for the animal charges, she will likely be unable to own another pet for at least five years.

Pruden-Rivera and Higinio Rivera have recently divorced and Higinio was granted custody of Haiden after child protective services workers found Pruden-Rivera’s home to be in deplorable condition.

There was animal feces and dirty diapers all throughout the home, according to court records, the Lansing State Journal reported.

[Photo: Eaton County Sheriff's Office]

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