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WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. -- The adoptive parents of Erica Parsons were arrested on federal fraud charges Wednesday morning.

Sandy and Casey Parsons were arrested on a federal criminal indictment charging them with fraud, United States Attorney Ripley Rand announced.

The indictment alleges that, from February 2010 to August 2013, Sandy Parsons, 40, and Casey Parsons, 39, committed tax fraud, mail fraud, theft of government funds, and identity theft, and engaged in a conspiracy to defraud the government.

The indictment alleges that the Parsonses received government funded adoption assistance, Medicaid, Social Security, and Food and Nutrition Services benefits for a dependent that did not live with them and used the mail to commit the fraud.

The indictment also alleges that Casey Parsons fraudulently used the identities of other persons as dependents and used other false information when preparing federal tax returns.

More: One year later, no sign of Erica Parsons

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Sandy and Casey Parsons are charged with one count of conspiracy to defraud the government, which carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine; 20 counts of theft of government funds, each of which carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine; and 20 counts of mail fraud, each of which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

The indictment also charges Sandy Parsons with one count of aggravated identity theft, which carries a mandatory sentence of two years, consecutive to any other sentence, and a $250,000 fine; and one count of false statement to a government agency, which carries a maximum sentence of two years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

Casey Parsons is also charged with one count of false pretense in a health care matter, which carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine; two counts of Social Security fraud, each of which carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine; fifteen counts of aggravated identity theft, each of which carries a mandatory sentence of two years, consecutive to any other sentence, and a $250,000 fine; two counts of false statement to a government agency, each of which carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine; six counts of aiding in the preparation of a false tax return, each of which carries a maximum sentence of three years in prison and a $250,000 fine; six counts of wire fraud, each of which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine; and one count of making false claim against the government, which carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

Sandy and Casey Parsons are scheduled to have their initial appearance at 2:30 p.m. today in U.S. District Court in Winston-Salem.

Wednesday also marks one year since Erica's older brother Jamie reported her missing. The last time immediate family members saw Erica at the family home in Salisbury was November, 2011.

Investigators say they are making progress, but questions remain whether Erica's disappearance is a crime.

From the beginning Casey and Sandy Parsons say they've done nothing wrong except let Erica live with someone they thought was her biological grandmother. That turned out not to be true.

Family attorney Carlyle Sherrill says it appears there isn't much new investigators have uncovered. Sherrill says Casey and Sandy Parsons answer investigators' questions on a regular basis and offer any help they can.

"It says they don't have any evidence to proceed with any charges against Sandy and Casey," Sherrill said.

"What would they be arrested for? There's no evidence we know of of any crime being committed. Yes, Casey and Sandy were mistaken in who this Nan was, and it's been since last September they realized Nan wasn't who they thought she was and they sent Erica off with someone they didn't know."

Investigators are still gathering and analyzing evidence but are keeping mum about the evidence they have, including red stains found on the floorboards inside the family home.

Investigators say when they locate Erica, it will reveal what if any crime has occurred, and by whom.

"We want to find Erica and hopefully over 11 months you can have more progress than we've had, but you've got to go with what you've got," Sherrill said.

To investigators, it's progress on a case that won't close until they find Erica. To neighbors, it's a year-long search that hasn't revealed enough.

The federal fraud case was investigated by the Rowan County Sheriff's Office, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigations.

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