Once An Adoption Scammer, Always An Adoption Scammer
Belinda Ramirez knows what all good football coaches do -- if something works, stick with it.
In her case, it was scamming couples who thought they were adopting her baby.
Ramirez was sent to prison in 2007 for, as the FBUI puts it:
Ramirez claimed to be pregnant, found and communicated online with couples seeking to adopt and solicited and received money and gift cards purportedly to cover pregnancy expenses from a number of prospective adoptive parents. Ramirez was not pregnant, spent the money and caused prospective parents to spend thousands of dollars to make trips to Corpus Christi in anticipation of a birth that never happened.
She got out of prison this year, and immediately went back to doing what she does best.
University of Houston Cougars Football vs. Louisville Cardinals College Football
TicketsThu., Nov. 17, 7:00pm
Rice University Owls Football vs. UTEP Miner Football
TicketsSat., Nov. 19, 11:00am
SWAC Football Championship
TicketsSat., Dec. 3, 3:00pm
TicketsSat., Jan. 7, 7:00pm
She conned various (desperate) families out of almost $18,000.
Judge Janice Jack sentenced Ramirez to the maximum she could -- 30 months in prison on each of two counts, plus three years of supervised release after that.
In deciding the sentence, the court considered the sophisticated means used by Ramirez -- the use of a computer to look up adoption facilities and prospective adoptee profiles – to target persons she knew to be vulnerable. Judge Jack furthered ordered Ramirez to have no access to cell phones, no contact with the victims, no access to the Internet and to obtain mental health and psychiatric care.
With other penalties added because she committed the crimes while under supervised release, the FBI says Ramirez will serve 78 months in prison.
So mark those calendars. If you're desperate for a baby in April 2015, be careful.
-- Richard Connelly
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you'll never miss Houston Press' biggest stories.