“I appreciate you guys busted me” – he said to TV crew who exposed his scam. Gary Thompson from Texas, who pretended to be physically and mentally disabled as he goes around Lexington, Kentucky, begging for money, revealed that he used to “earn” $100,000 every year from his panhandling.
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He would stroll around in a wheelchair, which he said he needed since he found it difficult to walk.
He would also maneuver his hand in such a way that would make passersby believe he’s totally handicapped.
He spoke differently and responded to questions like he had difficulty understanding things, and with that, Thompson managed to gain sympathy—and cash—from people.
Thompson says that one day way back in 1993, he was involved in a motorcycle accident, which left him paralyzed. The incident resulted in a lawsuit, where he was awarded around $2.4 million.
But then his life took a sad turn when his family took all the money he got, leaving him with literally nothing, even though they knew that he is completely unable to walk because of paralysis.
Turned out, not everything in the story was true. The accident did cause Thompson to have difficulty in walking, but it didn’t leave him completely paralyzed.
A news team from LEX 18 confronted Thompson about his scam, but instead of defending himself, the bogus beggar shamelessly said that he had no plans to stop.
Thompson said, “I appreciate you guys busting me. Yeah, I’m really good at it, really good. I clear about 100,000 dollars a year doing this. Anything from 60,0000 to 100,00 dollars. I am normal, it just helps to be mentally handicapped.”
Thompson can move his upper body just as fine. And as to the way he speaks, he must even have better enunciation than you, because this guy has a degree in speech pathology, which is what he used to imitate the way people with mental disability speak.
Speech pathologists in Kentucky earn around $42,000 per year, apparently more half the amount he earns from panhandling scheme.
Thompson reportedly did the same thing in Austin, Texas, but he was busted by the police, and the authority started sending out warning to the public about him.
After the confrontation with LEX 18, Thompson went on his way and begged for money again, which he did in front of a police station.
Two charges were field again Thompson in 2013 alone. He pleaded guilty on both.