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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of Michigan

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, March 8, 2019

Macomb Mother Indicted For Wire Fraud Related To Fraudulent Adoption Scheme

On March 7, 2018, a federal grand jury returned an indictment charging Macomb County resident Tara Lynn Lee with eighteen counts of wire fraud, announced United States Attorney Matthew Schneider.

Schneider was joined in the announcement by Special Agent in Charge Timothy R. Slater, Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Lee operated in Michigan under the name Always Hope Pregnancy and Education Center. Neither Lee nor her organization were licensed by the State of Michigan to facilitate adoptions or match birth mothers to adoptive families. Yet from 2014 to 2018, Lee repeatedly paired birth mothers with adoptive parents. Lee represented herself to adoptive parents as a licensed social worker with a legitimate adoption agency.

The indictment sets forth specific allegations of wire fraud. On several occasions, Lee matched more than one set of adoptive parents to a birth mother. Other times, Lee matched adoptive parents with birth mothers that did not exist, were not pregnant, or had not decided to place their child into adoption. Lee accepted payment from prospective adoptive parents for these fraudulent matches. The indictment identifies over $200,000 that Lee received from fraudulent matches in 2018 alone.

“The evidence in this case will show that this is a terrible scam of parents who simply want to make our world better by adopting a child.  We are encouraging any victims of this dishonest scheme to come forward and call the FBI hotline at 313-965-2227.”

“The wire fraud allegations against Ms. Lee do not begin to address the devastating emotional impact her cruel behavior has had on expectant mothers, adoptive parents, and families across the United States,” said SAC Slater. “The FBI Detroit Field Office is continuing to identify additional victims and investigate new allegations against Ms. Lee. We encourage anyone with information on Tara Lee or her organizations to contact the FBI’s hotline at 313-965-2227.”

A webpage has been created to provide case related information to those effected by the alleged offenses.   Please visit www.justice.gov/usaeo-edmi and click the link titled U.S. v. Tara Lee.

The case is assigned to U.S. District Court Judge Bernard A. Friedman. The case was investigated by the Detroit FBI, and it is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Sara Woodward

Updated March 8, 2019