Ethan Couch and his parents bilked taxpayers $200k for “rehab” before fleeing to Mexico

ethan couch cost taxpayers thousands affluenza

Ethan Couch may just be one of the most despised people in America. Ethan supposedly suffered from a made up condition known as “Affluenza”. A judge in Texas bought his flimsy defense and gave the undeserving teen 10 years probation for killing four people in a DWI crash. The court ordered Ethan Couch to receive rehabilitation at the North Texas State Hospital.

Four people were tragically killed and the lives of others were permanently altered when Ethan Couch decided to drive under the influence and crash it into innocent people. Ethan was 16 at the time and was not tried as an adult. During the trial, his lawyer brought in a expert witness who claimed that Ethan Couch was a victim of “Affluenza” and was not responsible for his actions. This condition did not exist in any medical journal and was described as a consequence free lifestyle brought on by his parents wealth.

Normally rehabilitation hospital costs are paid for by the criminal or their financial guardians. In this case Ethan Couch who got off easy on this crime because of his parents wealth, found a loophole that enabled his parents to escape paying the $200,000 rehabilitation hospital bill. The taxpayers of the State of Texas, which included his victims’ families were stuck footing the bill.

Texas Judge Jean Boyd reportedly ordered Ethan Couch to a rehabilitation hospital where the cost was $20,000 per month. Ethan’s parents Fred and Tonya Couch, found a way to be declared “financially unable to pay” for the full cost of their son’s rehab. They convinced the court to let them only to pay a monthly cost of $1,170 for the months their son spent in rehab. His parents received a bill for only $11,000, a number far short of the total amount billed to the state.

When a video surfaced showing Ethan Couch playing drinking games, Ethan and his mother Tanya fled to Mexico to escape the consequences of his parole violation. The pair were eventually apprehended and brought back to America to face justice. Ethan’s mother was reportedly caught with over $30,000 in cash. Clearly they had more money than they let the court believe they had.

Did the Couch family hide their money like the billionaires who got caught using shell companies in the Panama Papers leak? Hiding money is a old trick used by the wealthy to escape paying taxes, spousal support, or in this case possibly avoiding rehab costs. This irresponsible behavior may show that Ethan and his mother believed they were special and above receiving consequences for their horrible actions.

Ethan Couch finally faced adult court today. The judge sentenced him to 180 days in jail for each of his four victims. His mother faces 2-10 years in prison for her role in fleeing prosecution and hindering the investigation.

 

Related: Al Jazeera America
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