Sentencing delayed for defendant in Samoan adoption case

Date: 2009-02-18

Pamela Manson
The Salt Lake Tribune

The sentencing of Dan Wakefield, who pleaded guilty to five misdemeanors in a prosecution involving the adoption of Samoan children through a Wellsville agency, has been postponed because of a scheduling conflict.

Wakefield, who helped locate children in Samoa for adoption through Focus on Children, was slated to be sentenced today on five counts of aiding and abetting the improper entry of an alien. As part of a plea bargain, he admitted that immigration forms FOC helped fill out falsely listed children as orphaned.

A new sentencing date has not been set.

Four other defendants in the case, who also pleaded guilty to misdemeanors, are still slated to be sentenced next Wednesday by U.S. District Judge David Sam in Salt Lake City. They are Scott and Karen Banks, Coleen Bartlett and Karalee Thornock.

Prosecutors alleged the defendants were part of a scheme to trick Samoan parents into placing their children for adoption.


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