Macomb County woman charged with fraud in connection with unlicensed adoption agency

By Larry Spruill - Reporter, Dane Sager Kelly - Web Producer

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. 

RELATED: FBI investigating Macomb County woman on suspicion of running unlicensed adoption agency, fraud

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.

Tara Lynn Lee (WDIV)

Copyright 2019 by WDIV ClickOnDetroit - All rights reserved.