The mother of Michael Jackson's child molestation accuser has been charged with welfare fraud in Los Angeles today (23AUG05).

Janet Jackson, formerly known as JANET ARVIZO until her 2004 marriage, allegedly collected $18,782 (GBP10,434) in welfare payment while making false claims she was struggling to live and support her children.

In the THRILLER singer's child abuse trial earlier this year (05), the superstar's lawyers presented evidence the Arvizo family had received a $150,000 (GBP83,300) settlement during a legal battle with department store chain JC Penney in 2001.

Michael's attorneys also displayed evidence Janet had been receiving funds from her now-husband US Army MAJOR JAY JACKSON to pay her rent.

During the Santa Maria, California trial, Janet used the Fifth Amendment protection against self-incrimination and refused to testify about the welfare matter.

The Los Angeles County District Attorney's Bureau of Fraud and Corruption Prosecutions filed a five-count complaint today, alleging Janet concealed her settlement and rent assistance from welfare authorities.