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Ontario adoption agency, with clients in Alberta, charged with fraud


By Jason Van Rassel

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.



2011 Apr 8