DETROIT - A Macomb County woman is facing federal wire fraud charges in connection with running an unlicensed adoption agency.
In a federal court filing, Tara Lynn Lee, 37, is accused of giving adoptive parents false hope and charging exorbitant fees in the process.
The 32-page court document outlines the federal wire fraud charges against Lee.
Lee faced a judge Friday afternoon inside the Federal Courthouse, shortly after turning herself in.
U.S. Attorney Matthew Schneider said she allegedly operated an unlicensed adoption agency.
“This is all a scam,” said Schneider.
The criminal complaint said, “Lee collects payment from adoptive parents at the time of match, ranging from approximately $10,000-$33,000," with additional money due at the time of adoption.
The affidavit also states she would tell two different adoptive parents she has found a baby for them. They would both pay her.
“Adoptive parents, reported adoptive parents, people who want to adopt a baby, think that they’re going to go through a legitimate adoption process and then in the end, there’s no baby," said Schneider.
Prosecutors say her victims lived in Minnesota, Colorado and Georgia.
Local 4 obtained text messages Lee sent to two sets of potential adoptive parents, identified only by their initials. One text to M.S. said, “I have a date with [Jane Doe] on Saturday."
The other text was to M.E. It said, “I have a date with [Jane Doe] on Sunday."
Schneider said there could be more victims, and they’re asking any potential victims to call the United States Department of Justice Eastern District of Michigan office.
A judge granted Lee a $10,000 unsecured bond with a long list of stipulations.
Stipulations of bond:
- Lee can’t leave the country
- Must forfeit passport and Enhanced Michigan Driver’s License
- Can’t apply for travel documents
- Must stay within Eastern District of Michigan
- No contact with victims or witnesses
- Must complete medical/mental evaluation
- No possession of firearms
- Can’t seek employment in the nursing/adoption field
- No access to any hospital unless for medical reasons or immediate family is in hospital.
- No access to Square mobile App.
- If interacting with law enforcement, she must inform pretrial service
More details on the case can be read here.
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