Philadelphia Man Forges Custody Papers

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June 4, 2014: The Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office has charged 42 year old Shawn Pickett with Forgery, Attempted Theft by Deception, Welfare Fraud, Tampering with Public Records/Information, False Statements and Tampering with Records/Identification for tampering with a court ordered custody agreement.

Pickett, of the 2800 block of W. Oxford Street, is accused of forging the custody agreement of his young teenage son. Pickett also tried to use the fraudulent custody agreement to change the Social Security and Department of Welfare benefits of his son, making Pickett the beneficiary of the benefits.

On December 11, 2013, the District Attorney’s Office was contacted by the Philadelphia Family Court after a forged document was discovered. This document, a purported order, appeared to have been signed by Judge Tama Myers Clark on September 2, 2013 and gave primary custody to Shawn Pickett of his 14 year old boy, and partial custody of the teen to his mother Tabitha Allen. After reviewing a copy of the order dated September 2, 2013, Judge Myers Clark confirmed that she did not sign this document nor did she give anyone permission or authorization to sign her name on her behalf. Tabitha Allen also confirmed that she did not sign this document nor did she give anyone permission or authorization to sign her name on her behalf.

Ms. Allen began to suspect something was wrong prior to December 11, 2013 when she went to the social security office to obtain printouts of her income. While at the social security office, she was informed by the front desk clerk that Ms. Allen was no longer listed as the payee for her son’s social security check due to a change in her son’s custody status. Allen immediately suspected foul play, because the custody status had not changed. Additionally, she was also contacted by the Department of Public Welfare and informed that her son’s benefits were switched to Shawn Pickett after it received an order giving him full custody. The Department of Welfare gave Ms. Allen a copy of the fraudulent order dated September 2, 2013, which she gave to the Philadelphia Family court.

Shawn Pickett was arrested on Tuesday night, June 3, 2013. He is currently being processed by police.


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