Man in sextuplets hoax case sentenced to 3 years

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- A man who lied about being the father of sextuplets so he and his wife could solicit donations was sentenced Monday to three years in prison for violating probation.

Kris Everson, 35, and his wife, Sarah, 46, had been sentenced in August 2006 to four years probation after each pleaded guilty to one count of felony stealing by deceit. They were required to pay restitution of $3,661 and perform 40 hours of community service.

But warrants for the couple were issued after they failed to pay restitution and missed several probation violation hearings.

Prosecutors said Kris Everson surrendered late last month. He was sentenced Monday in Jackson County Courthouse in Independence.

His wife faces a Dec. 17 bond forfeiture hearing, but her whereabouts were not known, the prosecutor's office said.

Charles A. Kellogg, an attorney for the couple, declined to comment Monday through a secretary.

The couple were living in Grain Valley at the time of the hoax, but left the area after they were arrested.

Community leaders in Grain Valley said the Eversons came to them in March 2006, saying they had delivered six critically ill babies and needed help. The couple claimed the births were being kept secret by a court order because a family member was out to kill them.

Within days of the story appearing on the front of The Examiner newspaper in Independence, the couple was barraged by questions from the media.

Detective Terry Ford, who investigated the case, said a call from a television reporter who was seeking to confirm the story started the investigation. Ford said he was skeptical from the beginning.

"You just can't keep six kids hidden," he said in a telephone interview. "I don't care what kind of court order you have. We called numerous hospitals, and there were no six kids at any hospitals we contacted."

Finally, he said, the couple admitted the story was a hoax. He said authorities learned Sarah Everson had faked pregnancies before but never with six babies.

"It's an unusual case," he said. "They needed money. They were behind in bills."

Authorities asked people who had been victims of the scam to come forward. But Ford said the actual amount of money given to the couple remained unknown.

"They were too embarrassed," he said of some of the victims.

At the time of their sentencing, Sarah Everson said the couple had been kicked out of their Grain Valley home and were living in a broken-down truck. She said her husband was working day-labor jobs, making about $30 each time he worked, and that she was unemployed.

She said that the couple planned to try to make their restitution payments, which the judge ordered at $50 for each of them every month.

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