Search group sues Casey Anthony for fraud

July 13, 2011 at 8:52 AM
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ORLANDO, Fla., July 13 (UPI) -- A volunteer search group sued Florida mom Casey Anthony, seeking to recoup more than $100,000 the group said it spent looking for Anthony's daughter, Caylee.

The lawsuit filed Tuesday by Texas EquuSearch alleges that Casey Anthony committed fraud because she knew her 2-year-old child was dead, not missing as she and her parents claimed when asking for help in 2008, The Orlando (Fla.) Sentinel reported.

"It was [defense attorney] Jose Baez's opening statement when he said Caylee was never missing because she had died, that got me really upset," Tim Miller, the non-profit organization's founder and director, said. "We were lied to and misled."

The group traveled twice to Florida to look for the 2-year-old and spent about $112,000, Miller said, turning down 15 other families requesting assistance because Texas EquuSearch members were searching for Caylee Anthony.

"We have no agenda other than to recoup the money and use it for which it was intended," Miller said.

Anthony was found not guilty in the death of her daughter last week. She was found guilty of four misdemeanor counts of lying to police and sentenced to four years, but credited for time served and for good behavior. She is to be released Sunday.

Texas EquuSearch's suit isn't the first civil lawsuit Anthony faces, the Sentinel said. Zenaida Fernandez-Gonzalez of Kissimmee, Fla., is suing Anthony for defamation. During the search for her daughter, Anthony told investigators and her family that a nanny with the same name kidnapped Caylee. The information turned out to be false, detectives said.

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