American allegedly bilked 62 would-be parents in adoption scam

17:28, 22 April 2008
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Parents were promised children from Ukraine

An arrest warrant has been issued for the Santa Barbara leader of an alleged adoption scam that preyed on would-be parents promised children from Kazakhstan, Ukraine and Russia, AP reports.

Prosecutors say Orson Mozes bilked 62 people out of thousands of dollars, some paying up to $11,000, for adoptions.

The 56-year-old defendant is charged with felony counts of taking money under false pretenses and grand theft by use of the Internet. Mozes and his wife Christen Brown, who wasn’t named in the arrest warrant, operated the Adoption International Program.

Prosecutors say the Web site posted photographs of children available for adoption and would-be parents were told to send a $7,000 to $11,000 agency fee to “hold” a specific child and remove the child’s picture from the site.

Mozes vanished last June. District attorney’s office supervising investigator Laura Cleaves says the FBI and Interpol have been asked to help find Mozes.


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