Carolina Beach Woman Sentenced In Baby Adoption Scam

Carolina Beach Woman Sentenced In Baby Adoption Scam

Carolina Beach Woman Sentenced In Baby Adoption Scam

By / Local News / Wednesday, 19 December 2018 03:39

By WILLARD KILLOUGH III
Managing Editor

CAROLINA BEACH - Carolina Beach Police arrested 37 year-old Wendy Mae George of Carolina Beach on February 22nd, 2017 and charged her with four counts of Obtaining Property by False Pretense after multiple people from numerous states called the Police Department to report an adoption scam.

According to Detective Sonny Russell, George posted on various social media and adoption web sites that she was pregnant and searching for a family to adopt the child.

On Monday December 17th, 2018, District Attorney Ben David explained, "Wendy George, 39 years old, entered a guilty plea in New Hanover Superior Court on Friday to 10 counts of Obtaining Property by False Pretenses, one count of Felony Accessing a Computer to Perpetuate a Fraud, and one count of Medicaid Fraud. The Honorable Andrew Heath sentenced her to 50-64 months in the Department of Adult Correction. The Court also sentenced her to an additional 22-37 months, which was suspended for three years of supervised probation."

According to David, "Beginning in November of 2016, George posted on several social media and adoption websites that she was pregnant and wanted to put her child up for adoption.  In fact, Ms. George was not pregnant. People from across the country responded to the defendant’s post indicating a desire to adopt her child. The defendant then engaged in lengthy discussions with these people, and requested that they send her money for food, doctors’ appointments, and housing needs. The defendant obtained a positive pregnancy test using the urine of a pregnant friend and obtained Medicaid benefits from the Department of Social Services. The defendant also paid her pregnant friend $20.00 to get an ultrasound in Wendy George’s name so that she could send the images to the victims to prove that she was in fact pregnant."

He explained, "In February of 2017, a couple from Ohio called the Carolina Beach Police Department to report the scam that George was perpetuating, after giving her several hundred dollars for food and rent. After this initial report to law enforcement, and the defendant’s arrest in late February 2017, an extensive investigation by the Carolina Beach Police Department revealed at least 16 other people who had also been defrauded by the defendant during the same time period."

 He explained, "George was on probation at the time of these offenses for Selling a Schedule I Controlled Substance.  She has also been previously convicted of 16 counts of Obtaining Property by False Pretenses in 2012 in New Hanover County, and one count of Obtaining Property by False Pretenses in Johnston County in 2015."
In 2017, Carolina Beach Detective Sonny Russell said George posted on various social media and adoption web sites that she was pregnant and searching for a family to adopt the child.

He said two adoption agencies and twelve families in multiple states contacted the Police Department and District Attorney's Office saying she had offered a child for adoption.

Victims were located in Ohio, Texas, Kansas, Wisconsin, California and New York.

Russell said some victims paid George substantial sums of money for living expenses during the pregnancy including money for rent, life expenses, food and cell phone bills to stay in communication.

Such arrangements are not uncommon when planning to adopt a newborn but in this case, multiple people paid George money for expenses and some went through the process of hiring attorneys to write up legal documents naming George as the biological mother.

Russell said George was arrested at a beach front condo that was provided by one of the victims. Prior to residing at that location, George lived at 1012 Old Dow Road in a residence paid for by another victim. Prior to that she was staying at the Courtyard Marriott on Eastwood Road in Wilmington in a room paid for by another separate victim.

He said George convinced some victims to provide transportation by Uber drivers when going shopping at places like Walmart or meeting other appointments.

In a post on Craigslist.com in early February, George used the last name "Jenkins" and posted, "Hello I am not sure it this is the best way to go about this but I'm not sure what else to do. I am having a girl and I am due in March. I have given this a lot of thought and I have decided to place the baby for adoption. You would need to get an attorney for the legal part and be able to help with pregnancy related expenses until the baby is born and for a month afterwards."

George was on probation stemming from drug charges in 2014. She previously fled North Carolina and was later extradited from Utah to return to North Carolina.

George was arrested in 2012 in Carolina Beach for numerous counts of Obtaining Property by False Pretense. She was later convicted of those charges. She accepted money from people traveling from other states to rent vacation rentals in Carolina Beach that she didn't own or that didn't even exist. At the time she was using the name Wendy George Rickman.

Then in 2014, George was convicted of renting a condo in Carolina Beach to another couple when the condo didn't even exist.

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