You are currently viewing A scammer pretended to be a high school student for years before being arrested in Texas

A scammer pretended to be a high school student for years before being arrested in Texas

Charite Stevens looked like any normal 15-year-old high school student with a part-time job.

But she was not like the other students. In fact, she was 34 at the time and was later convicted of fraud in a bizarre scheme eight years ago in which she posed as a teenager and used variations of her first name, Charity Johnson.

Officials say Johnson attended New Life Christian School in Longview, Texas, for eight months between 2013 and 2014 without anyone realizing his real age.

She was eventually arrested on May 13, 2014, after failing to identify herself and providing false information. She was sentenced to 85 days in jail but was released after 29 days for good behavior, according to media reports.

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After his arrest, investigators found that Johnson had been running this scheme for years across the country. When families grew suspicious, she would run away to another small town and work again.

Charity Anne Johnson, 34 at the time, attended a high school in Texas for eight months between 2013 and 2014 after enrolling in second grade at age 15.

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Johnson, who is 5ft tall and weighed about 300lbs at the time, dressed young and was often seen wearing Hello Kitty and Minnie Mouse accessories, according to media reports. She also made many friends and worked at a Longview McDonald’s.

Even Johnson’s then 23-year-old boyfriend thought the woman was an 18-year-old girl, according to reports.

According to a Buzzfeed article, Johnson said she didn’t have transcripts because she was homeschooled in foster care after being abandoned by a drug-addicted mother and an incarcerated father.

She would reach out to women on Facebook asking for help to get out of a bad situation, according to reports. She said she was scared and an abused teenager and, after months of communicating, she began calling the woman “mom” and asking to visit or move in, according to media reports.

On Mother’s Day 2014, a Dallas woman who had helped Johnson became suspicious. Reports said Johnson would sidestep questions about his age and background.

After weeks of communicating, Johnson visited the woman with a homemade Mother’s Day card. The woman, however, noticed gray streaks in Johnson’s hair and quirks in her ever-changing personality that shattered the illusion that she was a 15-year-old girl, according to media reports.

The woman contacted the family Johnson had stayed with to let them know of her suspicions. The woman also spoke to Johnson’s manager, who confirmed she was born in 1979, which would mean she would be 35 in 2014, according to media reports. The woman eventually called the police.

The woman told Buzzfeed that she thinks Johnson is “not a money con man” but a “love con man”.

According to media reports, her friends and mentors at Longview School mourned the loss of Charite Stevens after her arrest.

taylor.pettaway@express-news.net

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