Sunday, February 3, 2008


Woman sentenced for adoption scam.


A judge sentenced a woman to three years in prison for a child adoption scam he called one of the "cruelest crimes" he's seen in 20 years on the bench.
Before sentencing Diana Groves on Friday, Greene County Circuit Court Judge David Holt read portions of letters written by her victims in which they described their pain.
"Diana ripped our hearts out," one victim wrote. "She stole our hopes. She stole our dreams."
Last month, Groves pleaded guilty to seven counts of theft in exchange for prosecutors agreeing to dismiss a habitual offender charge. The plea agreement left her sentencing to the discretion of the judge.
Groves was arrested by the FBI in April 2007 following a three-month investigation.
She was accused of falsely telling several different couples that she was working with a pregnant teen who wanted to give her child up for adoption.
Groves then asked the hopeful couples for money to help with the teen's expenses. Previously, prosecutors said she bilked her victims out of a total of about $15,000.
At the time of her arrest, she was serving a three-year suspended sentence after pleading guilty to a felony charge of neglect of a dependent.
Groves' attorney, Fred Turner, called two of the defendant's children to the stand. Both daughters asked that their mother be released so she could continue to be a part of their lives and be evaluated for a possible mental health issue.
During her testimony, Laura Groves sobbed as she asked the court to let her mother come home. Groves said her mother needed therapy, not jail time.
"It's not benefiting her," she said. "She needs to be home with her kids."
Groves also addressed the court. She apologized to her victims and asked Holt for probation.
Turner argued that Groves had admitted her guilt, saving the victims from having to testify in court. He also said she'd also given a "heartfelt" apology.
Holt agreed that Groves had accepted "some degree" of responsibility. He sentenced Groves to three years for each of the seven counts to be served concurrently. She was also fined $100 for each count.
"I feel you need to be held accountable for what you did," Holt told Groves.
Groves indicated she would appeal the sentence. She was declared indigent, so Holt appointed a public defender, but asked Turner to continue to work with Groves until her new attorney can take over.

It happens everyday in every state. The states themselves need to hold these kind of folks to a higher standard. When will it get done?

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