Those who serve as foster parents are a lifeline for the children they take into their hearts and homes. Many of these parents choose to make the connection they share with these children permanent through legal adoption. There are many of these families located throughout Maryland.
Recently, one man was sentenced to prison for carrying out a cruel scam against two of these families. He was convicted of representing himself as an attorney who could handle the legal adoption of foster children for the families. He purportedly presented fraudulent adoption papers along with the signatures of judges that were also forged.
Along with the fake adoption papers, the man also somehow convinced the families to grant him power-of-attorney in order to conduct financial business on their behalf. It was determined that the 49-year-old man had obtained approximately $400,000 from the families under false pretenses. The Tennessee court imposed a sentence of six and five years for mail fraud and forgery, respectively.
The sentences will be served concurrently, after which he will be on probation for three years. He has further been ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $380,000. It is unknown if the families were later able to complete a legal adoption of the foster children involved in this unconscionable scam. However, the majority of these types of adoptions are concluded without incident, and the newly formed families are enriched by the generosity of the parents who have chosen to be the permanent care-takers of these children in need. Maryland families that are considering bringing the dream of a permanent family to a child do have access to local resources who are experienced in ensuring that these adoptions proceed without incident.
Source: timesfreepress.com, "Tennessee man sentenced in fake adoption scheme", Dec. 19, 2014