Imagine Adoption Owners Charged With Fraud

Date: 2011-04-09

International Adoption Agency Faces Fraud Charges

Thursday, Rick Hayhow and Susan Hayhow, owners of the Imagine adoption agency based in Ontario, were charged by the Waterloo Regional Police with eleven counts of fraud between them and a joint charge of breach of trust.

The couple, according to a statement from the police, used funds from the agency to pay for over $420,000 worth of personal travel, clothing and home renovations unrelated to the business.

After entering bankruptcy court in 2009, several adoptions that were in process through Imagine, which specializes in adoptions from third world countries, were left pending.

According to the 2009 bankruptcy ruling, the company was to be restructured with trustee oversight and new board members selected.

Numerous public complaints were filed regarding the agency prompting an in depth investigation of Imagine. The police investigation was centered on financial mishandling of agency funds.

Management of Imagine has been taken over by Mission of Tears after an agreement was reached with the Toronto adoption agency.

Police involved in the investigation acknowledge that the problems with Imagine and the ensuing legal actions are likely an undue burden to families in the middle of the adoption process.

Pending a May 26 Cambridge court appearance, Rick and Susan Hayhow have been released from detention.


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