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Spent $255,000 of Settlement on Selves : Son’s Money Gone; Parents Are Charged

United Press International

The parents of a 10-year-old quadriplegic have been charged with spending more than half his $500,000 court settlement on ocean cruises, country club memberships and entertainment, leaving the boy with $39.50, it was reported today.

Felony theft and perjury charges were filed Wednesday against Lottie and Fred Dozier, the parents of Fred Dozier Jr., the Chicago Sun-Times said.

The Doziers were appointed guardians in 1980 to administer their son’s court award, a $500,000 insurance settlement from a medical malpractice case.

The court approved a $245,000 expenditure for a new $70,000 house, to install a swimming pool, and for $12,000 in yearly administrative costs. But the parents wasted the remaining $255,000, Lake County Prosecutor Jack Crawford said.

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Among the unapproved purchases were $15,000 on a new Cadillac, $6,000 on ocean cruises, $2,800 on country club dues and $3,600 to buy two Alaskan huskie dogs.

Dozier, 38, is a steelworker who earns $20,000 to $30,000 a year, so the family is not destitute, Crawford said. The couple filed for a legal separation this year.

Dozier was charged with felony theft and perjury for allegedly falsifying reports to the court. He faces a maximum penalty of 12 years in prison and a $20,000 fine. His wife, who was charged with felony theft, faces a maximum eight years in prison and a $10,000 fine.

The boy, who suffered brain damage and spinal meningitis at birth, could become a ward of the state if his parents are imprisoned. The Doziers also have a daughter.

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