Archive for Monday, April 18, 2011

Bonner couple claim to be victims of adoption scam

April 18, 2011

Federal charges filed April 13 accuse a Kansas City woman of claiming to be pregnant with twins and willing to let someone adopt them so she could get rent money and gifts from a Bonner Springs couple, U.S. Attorney Barry Grissom announced last week.

Roxanne Janel Jones, 34, Kansas City, Mo., is charged with 11 counts of wire fraud and one count of identity theft in a criminal complaint filed in U.S. District in Kansas City, Kan.

The complaint alleges that on March 22, police were contacted by a woman in Bonner Springs who had seen a CBS news story in which Jones was accused in another case of posing as an expectant mother. The woman told police she and her husband met Jones in January 2010 when Jones answered the couple's ad on Craigslist seeking someone to adopt their dog.

Using an alias, Jones adopted the dog. During conversations with the couple, Jones told them she was pregnant with twins due in June 2010 and she was considering putting them up for adoption. The couple decided they wanted to adopt the twins and went to a lawyer for advice. When the couple asked Jones for a Social Security number, she gave them a number belonging to her son.

From February to June 2010 Jones frequently communicated with the couple, asking for money for rent, food, utilities and other expenses. The couple sent Jones money using a service called Money Gram. The couple sent a total of eleven Money Grams totaling $830. The money was retrieved at Midway Conoco, 4341 Paseo Boulevard in Kansas City, Mo., and Speedy Cash at 1331 E. 63rd St. in Kansas City, Mo.

On June 1, 2010, the couple received text messages from Jones saying she was in labor at KU Medical Center and asking if they still wanted to adopt the babies. On June 5, 2010, the text messages stopped.

Jones was arrested March 16, 2011, at a hotel on state charges stemming from another alleged adoption scam using a different alias.

If convicted on the federal charges, she faces a maximum penalty of 20 years and a fine up to $240,000 on each count of wire fraud, and a mandatory two years to run consecutively to other sentences and a fine up to $250,000 on the identity theft charge.

The Overland Park Police Department and the U.S. Secret Service investigated. U.S. Attorney Barry Grissom is prosecuting.

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