Woman sentenced for role in Tacony dungeon case

A woman was sentenced to 40 years imprisonment for her role in a reign of abuse that partially took place in a basement in Tacony.

Scene of the crime: Last week, Jean McIntosh was sentenced to 40 years for her role in physically abusing mentally ill adults qualified to receive disability benefits. Above, in 2011, police guard the apartment house on Longshore Avenue in Tacony where four people were held captive in a utility basement. TIMES FILE PHOTO

Jean McIntosh, 38, was sentenced last week to 40 years imprisonment by U.S. District Judge Cynthia Rufe for her role in a reign of abuse that took place in, among other places, a soiled sub-basement of an apartment building at 4724 Longshore Ave. in Tacony.

McIntosh previously pleaded guilty to a multi-count indictment arising from her participation in a decade-long racketeering enterprise led by her mother and co-defendant, Linda Weston.


The U.S. Attorney’s Office said Weston, McIntosh and other members of their family defrauded the Social Security Administration by targeting extremely vulnerable, mentally ill adults qualified to receive disability benefits, confining and physically abusing them, then stole the victims’ benefits, and converted them for use.

Two of their victims, Donna Spadea and Maxine Lee, died as a result of intentional mistreatment. Spadea died in the basement of a home at 2211 Glenview St. in Castor Gardens.

Weston previously received a sentence of life imprisonment plus an additional 80 years.

From about 2001 through October 2011, the co-conspirators loyal to Weston lured mentally handicapped individuals into locations rented by her, McIntosh and others in Philadelphia and three other cities.

Once they were in captivity, the Weston family often moved the mentally challenged captives from state to state to elude detection by social service and law enforcement agencies. The family targeted victims who were estranged from their families and offered them a place to stay.

Once Weston convinced them to move in, she became their representative payee with Social Security and began to receive their disability benefits and in some instances, their state benefits.

When the victims tried to escape, eat or otherwise protest their confinement, members of the family punished them by slapping, punching, kicking, stabbing, burning and hitting them with closed hands, belts, sticks, bats and hammers.

The case was investigated by the FBI, IRS, the Social Security Administration’s Office of the Inspector General and the Philadelphia Police Department. The prosecutors were Assistant U.S. Attorneys Faithe Moore Taylor and Richard Barrett. ••