A US national who was residing in the tourist mecca of Ambergris Caye was one of four persons the US Department of Justice in the United States have charged for conspiracy to Defraud the United States in Connection with Ethiopia Operations.
A release from the Department states that Mary Mooney was taken from her home on San Pedro Ambergris Caye, in an operation between the island's police department and the US State Department.
She was taken to the Embassy and whisked out of the country to the U.S. where she faces charges in relation to adoption fraud in Ethiopia. She and her company is accused of paying orphanages to “sign off” on contracts of adoption with the adopting parents as if the children had been raised by those orphanages — even though the children had never resided in those orphanages and had not been cared for or raised there. The release from the US Department of Justice says the charge of conspiring to defraud the United States carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a fine of the greater of $250,000 or twice the value gained or lost. And the charges contained in the indictment are merely accusations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
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