Wanetta Gibson, the woman who falsely accused Brian Banks of rape, is learning that lying really doesn’t pay, but it’ll actually cost her $2.6 million dollars. In 2007, Gibson was awarded a settlement by the Long Beach School District, after she said a lack of security led to her being raped by fellow student Banks. Gibson later recanted the rape claim on tape, paving the way for Banks’ exoneration of the charge – however he had already served more than five years in prison.
That recantation also paved the way for the school district to seek compensation of the money they awarded her. According to the school district, the judgment recoups a $750,000 settlement paid to Gibson and also includes attorney’s fees, interest and $1 million in punitive damages.
Gibson was not present at the ruling and her whereabouts are unknown, per the Long Beach Press-Telegram, but the court gained authorization to recoup the money through her future wages and property. Once a court gains authorization for garnishments, it’s all downhill from there.
“The court recognizes that our school district was a victim in this case,” Long Beach Unified Superintendent Christopher J. Steinhauser said.
“This judgment demonstrates that when people attempt to defraud our school system, they will feel the full force of the law.”
Actually trying to recoup the money may not even happen. Apparently Gibson has several civil judgments already under her belt. Also, according to news reports, Gibson and her children have received public assistance and she has been sued by the county for child support.
Gibson’s troubles may not end with just a wage garnishment. She could also face fraud charges, depending upon the court’s opinion as to whether her 2012 recanting constitutes an admission of fraud. If the original accusation is the basis for such a charge, the three-year statute of limitations for fraud charges to be brought would void any such action.
In her video confession, when the money issue was brought up, she stated, “I don’t want to have to pay it back.” Well, it looks as though she’s gotten herself into a real pickle, a $2.6 million dollar pickle.