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Meet The Man who Makes $100K a Year Begging by Pretending to be Mentally Handicapped

A man who pretends to be mentally and  physically handicapped while he goes around the streets begging claims he makes  up to $100,000 a year from his panhandling.

Gary Thompson, from Texas, gets around  Lexington, Kentucky, in a wheelchair which he says he needs because he has  difficulty walking.

He also maneuvers his hands in a way that  would lead the untrained eye to believe he had difficulty using them.

Added to the fact Thompson seems to have  difficulty speaking and fully understanding, he manages to illicit a lot of  sympathy from others – sympathy and money.

Thompson was awarded $2.4 million in a  lawsuit tied to a motorcycle accident from 1993, money he said he and his family  spent.

His sob story to passers by is that his  family took the money he received when he was paralyzed in the accident. He does  have some difficulty walking but is not totally paralyzed.

When he was confronted about the scheme  by LEX  18 news  station, he laughed and said he doesn’t plan on stopping any time  soon.

“I appreciate you guys busting me,’ Thompson  told a reporter. ‘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.’

Not only can Thompson speak and use his arms  properly, but he has a degree in speech pathology that allowed him to mimic a  mentally disabled person.

Hailing from Austin, Texas, he claims to have  pulled the same stunt there before moving to Kentucky. Police there recently  held a press conference about it warning people of the scam.

After LEX 18 confronted Thompson about the  alleged scam, he showed no remorse and simply wheeled himself off to beg right  in front of a police station.

Judy McKinney told Lex 18: ‘He got me! I  don’t make that much money, but I reached into my pocket, and gave him  everything I had. Six dollars at the time.’

Thompson has reportedly been charged twice  this year over his scheme and pleaded guilty on both occasions.

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Posted by on February 27, 2013. Filed under NY News,Slider. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.