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Woman sent to prison for adoption scheme

©Associated Press
February 17, 2002

TAMPA -- A woman has been sentenced to 2 1/2 years in prison for falsely promising babies to families in an adoption scheme.

U.S. District Judge James Moody Jr. said he gave Wendy Constance Evans, 36, a harsh sentence because of the emotional trauma she caused her victims.

She persuaded families she knew women ready to give birth and put the babies up for adoption. She asked for a fee, generally $900, to put the family in touch with the birth mother. Then she kept the money, according to her plea agreement.

"They had the hope that finally they will have a child to adopt," said Assistant U.S. Attorney Stephen Muldrow. "In some cases, she told them the mother was on the plane and ready to fly out there, and all she needed was some travel money."

Evans reportedly used nine aliases and frequently moved from state to state.

In Largo, she ran a business licensed under the name "All for the Child."

As part of the scheme, Evans sent victims adoption materials, including questionnaires, which they were to send back to her with the fee, according to the indictment.

She pretended to be pregnant and promised her baby to families, then asked the families for financial support, prosecutors said.

The FBI arrested Evans in June in Seattle, where she was living under a phony name. She pleaded guilty to mail fraud in August.

Evans has a 3-year-old daughter whom she said she hasn't seen in nine months. Her attorney, Assistant Public Defender Adam Allen, said that after Evans finishes her sentence, she must go to state court to answer violation of probation charges.

Moody also ordered Evans to pay $24,797 in restitution to the families.

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