Illegal Adoption Ring Broken Up
Last Updated: May 27, 1999 at 11:50:49 p.m.
NEW YORK - Two women were accused today of running an illegal adoption ring that sold Mexican children to American families for $20,000 or more.
The women provided adoptions without any of the necessary paperwork for either immigration or adoption, according to court documents. And several children, some of whom were as young as 2 weeks old, had serious medical problems despite assurances they were healthy.
``I'm thrilled,'' said Rosalie Liberto, a Long Island woman who adopted a little girl two years ago and is still fighting to resolve her immigration status. ``We were heartbroken. We put our trust in people and they took advantage of us.''
Arlene Lieberman, 48, and Arlene Reingold, 47, neighbors who live on New York's Long Island, and Mario Reyes, a Mexican lawyer with a home in Arizona, were charged with conspiracy to violate immigration laws in connection with 17 illegal adoptions in the Long Island area. They were also charged with mail and wire fraud.
Court documents said the women arranged more than 500 adoptions, but those adoptions are not being scrutinized as part of this case, assistant U.S. attorney Timothy Macht said.
Macht said he could not comment on how the children were obtained.
Reyes, 40, was arrested Wednesday night at his home in Douglas, Ariz., which abuts a Mexican border town called Agua Prieta where he had a law office. Each woman was released on $150,000 bond.
The maximum for the charges is 10 years in prison for each child illegally smuggled into the country. The wire and mail fraud charge carries a sentence of up to 5 years in prison.
Court papers allege that Reyes paid to have babies smuggled across the border to his Arizona home, sometimes by Mexican women posing as the children's mothers.
But some of the children had serious medical problems.
One couple was presented with a 7-year-old girl who was mentally retarded, malnourished and also showed signs of sexual abuse. The couple, in their 50s, returned her to Mrs. Lieberman and never got a refund on their $20,000.
Authorities repeatedly denied the pair's attempts to become licensed. The two women ran businesses called Stork International and International Adoption Consultants, presenting themselves as adoption information experts, state DSS officials said.
Mrs. Lieberman's phone number is unlisted. A man who answered the phone at Mrs. Reingold's home had no comment. Calls placed to lawyers representing the women were not returned.
The state attorney general's office also brought charges against the women, as well as their husbands, Jay Lieberman and Dennis Reingold, charging them with fraud and with repeatedly arranging illegal adoptions.
Organizations this person works for or is related to
|Stork International Inc.||Founder of||1990-00-00|
|Adoption Choice, Inc. (NY)||Founder of||1992-00-00|
|International Adoption Consultants (IAC)||Founder of||1996-00-00|
|International Adoption Consultants (IAC)||Director|
Countries, states or provinces this person is related to
|Arlene Lieberman||Operates in||El Salvador||1992-00-00|
News paper articles, official documents and reports filed about this person
Child trafficking cases and the role this person played.
|Mexico - Arlene Lieberman, Arlene Reingold and Mario Reyes case||Adoption agency|
Location18 Blackpine Dr
Medford, New York
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