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Adoption Website Investigation Leads to Charges

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A 42-year-old Gary woman has been charged with fifteen felonies and sixteen misdemeanors for allegedly operating unauthorized adoption websites. Indiana State Police say an investigation began in January of last year after authorities received information that Lynn M. Ellis, also known as Lynn Smith, was advertising adoption services online. Police say she ran two websites, Tinkerbell Adoption Referral and The Pregnancy Choices, and individuals throughout the country seeking adoption would pay a fee believing they were in the process of being paired with an adoptive mother. Police allege no adoption ever took place from these transactions, and police say the woman and the websites are not licensed.

Indiana State Police News Release Dec 19 2012:

Lake County-Today, First Sergeant Jeffery Matson, District Investigation Commander for the Indiana State Police Toll Road, charged Lynn M. Ellis (aka Lynn Smith), 42 of Gary with fifteen felonies and 16 misdemeanors after a criminal investigation discovered she was operating an unauthorized adoption facilitation web sites.

In January 2011, a criminal investigation began after receiving information that Ellis was advertising adoption services on the internet. Two web-sites, Tinkerbell Adoption Referral and The Pregnancy Choices were run by Ellis offering services for the facilitation of adopting children. Individuals (throughout the United States) seeking adoption would pay a fee believing they were beginning the process of being paired with an adoptive mother. No adoption was ever concluded from these transactions.

Further investigation revealed that Ellis is not a licensed Adoption Facilitator with the State of Indiana or her web-sites. Indiana State Law doesn’t allow a person to facilitate or be involved in adoption without being licensed.

Charged:   Lynn M. Ellis (aka Lynn Smith), 42 of Gary, Indiana
1. One Count of Profiting from Adoption, Class D Felony
2. Fourteen Counts of Fraud, Class D felony
3. Fourteen Counts of Unauthorized Adoption Facilitation, Class A Misdemeanor
4. Two Counts of Unauthorized Adoption Advertising, Class A Misdemeanor

Investigating officer: First Sergeant Jeffery Matson, Indiana State Police

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