Woman sentenced in San Diego on baby-selling fraud

December 2, 2011 - 12:35 PM

SAN DIEGO (AP) — A former lawyer has been sentenced in San Diego for running a fraud scheme that paid women to have babies for sale.

The San Diego Union-Tribune (http://bit.ly/vF8xGB ) reports 32-year-old Hilary Neiman was sentenced Thursday to five months in federal prison and seven months of home confinement. She pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud. A federal judge said she preyed on the weak and desperate.

Two co-defendants await sentencing.

The scheme involved paying women up to $45,000 to travel to the Ukraine for in-vitro fertilization. The babies were sold for $100,000 each to U.S. parents, who were told they were assuming non-existent surrogate mother agreements.

State law requires such agreements to be signed before pregnancy. Otherwise, prospective parents must go through the more complicated process of adoption.

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Information from: The San Diego Union-Tribune, http://www.signonsandiego.com