New York City has agreed to pay nearly $10 million dollars to settle an abuse case filed on behalf of 10 disabled children against a Queens woman who fraudulently adopted them more than 15 years ago, according to the New York Times.
Judith Leekin was arrested in Florida in 2007 where she moved with the children. She was later convicted of fraud and abuse charges.
The Times reports that court papers show the children were restrained with plastic ties and handcuffs and beaten with sticks.
Prosecutors say Leekin collected more than $1 million in subsidies from New York and that she used numerous aliases when adopting the children.
Bruce Strikowsky, a lawyer for the city, called Leekin's scheme "unprecedented." He said Thursday that though the city had strong legal defenses, the settlement will benefit those most harmed by Leekin - "the children she abused."
The settlement resolves only claims against the city. Claims against other agencies are still pending.
New York Times reporter Ben Weiser, has been following the case and he says Leekin was able to foster a total of 22 children, by using a series of aliases. He spoke with WNYC’s Soterios Johnson. Listen to the interview above.