Published on February 28th, 2013 | by Chris0
Man Fakes Mental Illness, Makes $100,000 Begging on Streets
If you live in Lexington, Kentucky, and have ever come across local beggar Gary Thompson, you may want to think twice before throwing a few coins into his beggar’s cup; it turns out the popular local “homeless” man has been running a con job on residents that earns him more than $100,000 per year.
While wheelchair-bound, Thompson is otherwise fit and mentally able, but he poses as a mentally challenged man in order to win sympathy, using a fake speech disability and other tactics in order to encourage people to donate to his cause. In fact, he’s got a degree in speech pathology, something he’s able to use to his advantage when it comes to tricking unsuspecting do-gooders.
To make things even more hilarious – and likely more upsetting to those who have contributed to his well-being – a local television station who was on to Thompson’s trickery sent a team to the city’s downtown streets to bust him, but the fake beggar took it all in stride. He took the time to show reporters how his deception works, quickly transitioning from a smooth-talking salesman to a stuttering disabled man in moments as a potential mark walks by.
Even with police issuing a public bulletin about his deception, Thompson says he’ll stay in Lexington until the money dries up.
“Hey, I’m the best in Lex, the best in Lex baby,” he said.
It’s hard to be mad at a guy with such an entrepreneurial spirit, though I’m betting there are more than a few pissed off residents in “Lex” right about now!
Man Fakes Mental Illness, Makes $100,000 Begging on Streets,