One might expect that adoption is largely centered around goodwill by others, from the parents to that of the various agencies or placement companies involved within the adoption process. However that is unfortunately not always the case, as highlighted by the FBI’s recent release (07/31/2015) which details the arrest and charging of Simone Swenson who is the owner and operator of Sans Pareil Center for Children and Family Services LLC
Houston Woman Arrested for Adoption Fraud
U.S. Attorney’s Office – Southern District of Texas
HOUSTON—The owner of a child placement agency in Houston has been charged and arrested in a four-count indictment alleging an adoption fraud scheme, announced United States Attorney Kenneth Magidson. Simone Swenson, 40, of Houston, owned and operated Sans Pareil Center for Children and Family Services LLC, which was licensed to operate as both a foster care and child placement agency.
The indictment was returned under seal July 29, 2015, and unsealed today upon her arrest. She is expected to make her initial appearance before a U.S. magistrate judge at 10:00 a.m. Monday, Aug. 3, 2015.
Sans Pareil catered to adoptive families that desired to participate in domestic private (non-CPS) adoption program. According to the allegations in the indictment, from on or about January 2013 to on or about January 2014, Swenson defrauded numerous prospective adoptive families with the same birth mother, a scheme known as double matching. As part of the scheme, she allegedly obtained money and property by means or materially false and fraudulent pretenses, representations and promises.
The indictment alleges Swenson double matched birth mothers who expected to have only one baby to multiple adoptive families. Once money was wired and/or mailed into her account from those families, the charges allege that she would find a way, through lies and misrepresentations, to get out of the agreements.
According to the allegations, Swenson would contact prospective families about birth mothers but would not proceed until agency fees and expenses were paid up front. Swenson would allegedly make promises for a successful adoption. In reliance upon those representations, the indictment alleges prospective adoptive families hired attorneys and other adoption agencies, purchased airline tickets, booked hotel rooms, prepared and purchased items for the expected child’s nursery and transportation and incurred other expenses related to the prospective adoption.
The indictment alleges Swenson would and did charge fees without explanation, and the fees did not apply equally to all adoptive families as required by regulations.
The release goes on to state that the accused was always responsive up until receipt of fees and charges levied against the prospective parents….