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U Fell 4 a Scam
April 14, 2011 permalink
Roxanne Jones is an obese woman who looks like she is pregnant all the time. She duped many couples with the prospect of adopting her babies at birth, getting them to give her hundreds of dollars each to cover her expenses during pregnancy.
Caught on tape: Woman 'posed as pregnant mother to con desperate couples in adoption scam'
A woman has been charged with fraud and identity theft after she was caught on camera posing as a pregnant mother in an adoption scam.
Roxanne Jones, 34, allegedly preyed on at least ten couples across the U.S. who were desperate to have children, by pretending to be a birth mother willing to give up her newborn babies.
She allegedly demanded hundreds of dollars in living expenses, rent and groceries during her fake pregnancies.
Jones was arrested in Kansas City last month following an undercover investigation by CBS News after she allegedly defrauded one of their employees.
A producer posed as an adoptive mother and contacted Jones, then using the name Cindy Stevens, who allegedly said she was pregnant with twins and was willing to give them up.
Over three weeks, the producer said Jones allegedly sent her more than 120 texts and called her dozens of times, demanding cash for food, bills and rent.
The investigation culminated in a secretly-filmed meeting at a Kansas City hotel room, in which Jones is seen telling the producer she is pregnant with twins due in four days time.
But she changes her mind about the gender, originally saying she was having two girls but then switching to a boy and a girl.
When a CBS producer arrived and she realised what was going on, Jones tried to leave - but police seized her on her way out of the hotel.
Yesterday federal prosecutors charged her with 12 counts of identity theft and wire fraud after another alleged victim, known only as J.B., came forward when they saw the CBS programme and recognised Jones.
Police say she confessed soon after she was arrested. According to court documents, she admitted 'pretending to be pregnant in an attempt to get money for rent, groceries, utilities, and other living expenses.
'The defendant admitted that what she did was wrong, and said she was untruthful.'
Officers claim she used four different aliases: Roxanne Melissa Farris, Stephanie Isaiah, Jayme Furney and Kristy Bennett.
Her alleged victims include Kansas City couple Holly and Mark Gonzales, who turned to adoption after spending four years and $120,000 desperately trying to conceive through fertility treatment.
In February, they received a phone call from their adoption lawyer saying he had found a birth mother pregnant with twins due on Friday.
They spoke to the woman, allegedly Jones posing as 'Kristy Bennett', and just half an hour later she sent Mrs Gonzales a text saying 'I think you're going to be great parents to the twins'.
The couple began preparing a nursery for the babies, but then Bennett began asking for money and a few days later, the lawyer called again.
She had checked Bennett's background, and found the doctor had no record of her, so the heartbroken couple cut off all contact.
On the day the twins were supposed to be born, she sent them a photo of two newborn babies and a text which added to their heartbreak.
It read: 'The girls were born today. I'm sorry you felt you couldn't be here. They are two very precious babies that are going to foster care.'
CBS claims its investigators tracked down victims of the scam in New York, Maine, Massachusetts, Maryland, Minnesota and California.
Detectives in Kansas City are working with the U.S. Secret Service to find anyone else who was defrauded, and are urging couples to come forward.
If convicted of the 12 charges against her, she could face up to 22 years in prison.
Source: Daily Mail