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Monday, December 11, 2023 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

State Says Adoption Firm Ran Pyramid Con

TUCSON (CN) - Commonwealth Adoptions International ran a pyramid scheme in children for 15 years, the State of Arizona claims in Pima County Court. The Arizona attorney general says the defendants ran an adoption scheme from 1993 until August this year, and continue to advertise their "services" on the Internet.

The state claims the defendants "deceptively induced consumers to enter into contracts to purchase adoption services from them by deceiving consumers into believing they would receive certain services in exchange for the fees consumers paid CAII. ... Defendants did not use the fees particular families paid for that family's adoption. Instead, defendants pooled the fees, using the incoming fees to pay for other families adoptions. Consequently, CAII was unable to refund deposits and fees to families who did not receive the services for which they paid," the complaint states.

Defendants include Commonwealth Adoptions, its president Marina Mayhew, its operations director Dawn Hill, and its other directors, Jim Sellers, James Mayhew, Dan Bish and William Hindelang.

Attorney General Terry Goddard cites specific families whom the defendants allegedly stiffed for $11,200, $9,800, and $4,435.

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