Guatemalan Adoption Fraud BustedContact: Rusty Hills or Matt Frendewey, Media Contacts 517-373-8060 Agency: Attorney General
May 4, 2007
LANSING - Attorney General Mike Cox announced charges against the owners of Waiting Angels International Adoption Agency who promised to help couples adopt Guatemalan children and accepted tens of thousands of dollars in fees but failed to deliver. Two defendants have been charged with two felony counts in connection with the Guatemalan adoption fraud scheme and the laundering of more than a half million dollars in cash.
"Bringing a new child into your home should be an occasion for joy," said Cox. "But these individuals took advantage of the dreams of couples to adopt children, stringing them along and taking their money without fulfilling the promises that had been made."
Charges filed against Simone Boraggina, 40, of Macomb, and Joseph Beauvais, 44, of Novi, include one count of racketeering, a 20-year felony; and one count of tax fraud, a 5-year felony, for allegedly defrauding several Michigan couples by promising to facilitate Guatemalan adoptions that never occurred.
Boraggina and Beauvais promised the victims that they would facilitate Guatemalan adoptions. While the defendants took the victims money, the defendants never fulfilled their promises. Victims wired money into the Waiting Angels business account at Huntington Bank. The investigation revealed that;
· Beauvais went to a Huntington Bank branch approximately once a week during 2005 and 2006 and would present one or more checks payable to "cash" that were drawn on the Waiting Angels business account.
· According to bank records, in 2005 and 2006, Beauvais left the bank with a cumulative total of $535,741 in cash.
· During April 11 and 12, 2007, search warrants were executed and $523,669 cash was seized from three safety deposit boxes in Boraggina's name and from her home.
Boraggina and Beauvais were arraigned yesterday afternoon in front of Magistrate Michael R. Osaer at 41A District Court in Shelby Township. The magistrate seized their passports, placed tethers on both the defendants and set a $250,000 bond. The pre-exam is scheduled for June 7, 2007. If convicted as charged, Boraggina and Beauvais could face up to 20 years in prison.
A criminal charge is merely an accusation, and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.
Cox stated, "We allege and intend to prove in court that these two individuals trampled the hopes of young couples who wanted to adopt children in need of good homes and loving parents."
To download Audio Comments from Attorney General Mike Cox please see links below.
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Waiting Angels Audio Clip 1
Waiting Angels Audio Clip 2