Ontario adoption agency, with clients in Alberta, charged with fraud
- Acrid Whiff Of Scandal Growing From Imagine Adoption Agency's Ashes
- Ethiopia to Cut Foreign Adoptions by Up to 90 Percent
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- Baby trafficking and other adoption secrets
- Uganda's child adoption 'market' brings misery and confusion
- I-Team investigates international adoption facilitator
- Adoption from Africa: Concern over 'dramatic rise'
- Adoption scandal has prompted only minor changes
- Foreign adoptions by Americans plunge again
By Jason Van Rassel
April 8, 2011/ Calgary Herald
The owners of an Ontario-based international adoption agency with clients in Alberta have been charged with fraud.
Waterloo Regional Police announced this morning that Rick Hayhow, 46, and Susan Hayhow, 45 of Imagine Adoption Inc. are jointly charged with breach of trust, six counts of fraud over $5,000 and three counts of fraud under $5,000. They have also been charged separately with one count each of fraud over $5,000.
In a statement, police allege the pair inappropriately spent more than $420,000 of agency funds on personal expenses such as trips, clothes and renovations to their home in Cambridge, west of Toronto.
The agency entered bankruptcy proceedings in July 2009, placing a number of pending adoptions from countries such as Ethiopia in doubt.
Police said they launched their investigation following complaints from the public about the non-profit agency.
Investigators arrested Rick Hayhow in Cambridge on Thursday. Police took Susan Hayhow into custody the same day in Whitby, Ont., east of Toronto.
The Hayhows were released from custody pending a court appearance in Cambridge on May 26.
More to come.