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Macomb County Woman Indicted On Federal Charges For Adoption Scam

The FBI is searching for additional victims across the US

March 08, 2019 - 5:57 pm

(WWJ) Federal authorities are searching for more victims of a Macomb County woman accused of running a elaborate adoption scam. 

A federal grand jury on Thursday returned an indictment charging 37-year-old Tara Lynn Lee with eighteen counts of wire fraud.

According to the U.S Attorney's Office and the FBI, the New Haven, Michigan, resident operated under the name "Always Hope Pregnancy and Education Center," from 2014 to 2018, taking in more than $200,000 from couples seeking to adopt a child.

She falsely represented herself to adoptive parents as a licensed social worker with a legitimate adoption agency, according to an indictment.

She's accused of matching more than one set of adoptive parents to one birth mother on multiple occasions; while other times she matched adoptive parents with a woman who wasn't pregnant, had not decided to put her child up for adoption, or who didn't even exist. 

Lee is behind bars after a judge revoked her bond.

“The evidence in this case will show that this is a terrible scam of parents who simply want to make our world better by adopting a child," U.S. Attorney Matthew Schneider said. 

While an investigation continues, FBI Special Agent in Charge Timothy Slater says they're working to identify others who may have been scammed.  

“The wire fraud allegations against Ms. Lee do not begin to address the devastating emotional impact her cruel behavior has had on expectant mothers, adoptive parents, and families across the United States,” Slater added, in a statement. “The FBI Detroit Field Office is continuing to identify additional victims and investigate new allegations against Ms. Lee."

Anyone with information on Lee or her organization should contact the FBI’s hotline at 313-965-2227. 

A webpage has been created AT THIS LINK to provide case related information to those effected by the alleged offenses.