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No Bail in ‘Faked Retardation’ Case

December 9, 2006

TACOMA, Wash. (AP) _ A mother and son accused of bilking the Social Security system for 20 years by pretending the man was mentally retarded will be kept in custody until their trial next year, a magistrate ruled Friday.

Prosecutors accused Pete Costello, 28, of faking _ or at least exaggerating _ retardation since August 1997 and defrauding the government of $111,000 in benefits. The pair first received benefits 10 years before that.

Costello and his mother, Rosie Marie Costello, 46, are charged with conspiracy to defraud the government and Social Security fraud. The Vancouver pair have pleaded not guilty.

A trial was scheduled for early February.

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