Ex-adoptive mother of 7 children indicted

The Harris County grand jury has indicted a Houston woman on a charge of felony theft almost two years after her seven adoptive children were discovered living in a Nigerian orphanage while she worked in Iraq as a civilian contractor.

Investigators said Mercury Liggins, 49, pocketed thousands of dollars meant to support the children, who were found Aug. 4, 2004, when a San Antonio-based minister visited the orphanage to pass out food and clothing.

"She was receiving adoption subsidies for the children while they were in Africa," Child Protective Services spokeswoman Estella Olguin said. "She was getting close to $500 for each one of the children."

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