Focus on Childr-ahemm Corruption…
Thanks to K@W listserver for this newsclipping on the latest trial for “Focus on Children”
Long trial looms likely in alleged adoption scheme
The Salt Lake Tribune
Article Launched: 04/03/2007 01:26:25 AM MDT
Federal prosecutors say it will take two months to try a private Utah
agency for alleged adoption and immigration fraud. The agency, Focus
on Children, is accused of duping birth parents in Samoa into placing
their children for adoption.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Dustin Pead said Monday that the
government spent about eight months investigating Focus on Children
and gathering evidence. The case involves approximately 80 children
from Samoa, 40 to 45 birth families and 60 adoptive families, he told
Magistrate David Nuffer.
About a dozen of the youngsters were adopted by Utahns, Pead
said. The rest of the children were taken by families scattered
around the United States.
Based on the volume of evidence, Nuffer set a status conference
for the case for June 4 and held off on deciding a trial date. He
noted that defense attorneys would need time to review all the
A federal grand jury on Feb. 28 issued a 135-count indictment
accusing Focus on Children, which is based in Wellsville. Seven of
its operators also are charged with fraud and immigration violations.
The indictment alleges that the defendants tricked and coerced
Samoan birth parents into giving their children to the agency for
adoption, then falsely told the adoptive parent that the youngsters
Five of the defendants have pleaded not guilty and are free
pending trial. Two are in Samoa and have not been served with the
Pead says prosecutors will make a formal request to the Samoan
government to voluntarily send them to Utah to face the charges. The
United States doesn’t have an extradition treaty with Samoa.
– Pamela Manson