(WXYZ) — Enhelica Wiggins, a birth mom who was charged in the Macomb County adoption fraud scheme for allegedly working with Tara Lee, pleaded guilty to wire fraud in federal court on Wednesday.
Wiggins, 29, was charged in May and was allegedly part of the conspiracy with Lee. When the feds busted Lee, they listed seven birth moms as Jane Does in the court records.
During the plea hearing, Wiggins admitted that she impersonated other birth mothers in order to facilitate fraudulent adoption matches, and that she was not pregnant from April 2018 to 2019.
Wiggins is currently in custody related to violation of her bond conditions, including new criminal conduct. She will remain in custody until sentencing, which is scheduled for Jan. 21, 2020, in front of Judge Bernard Friedman.
In August, Lee pleaded guilty to two counts of wire fraud, in relation to counts 4 and 5 of an indictment, which allege that on Feb. 25, 2018, a couple from Georgia received an Always Hope adoption opportunity for a birth mother identified as "RaShaunda." The opportunity included a photo of RaShaunda and said she was pregnant with a boy with a due date of June 30, 2018.
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Lee pleaded guilty to charges 4 and 5 of the indictment, which allege that on Feb. 25, 2018, a couple from Georgia received an Always Hope adoption opportunity for a birth mother identified as "RaShaunda." The opportunity included a photo of RaShaunda and said she was pregnant with a boy with a due date of June 30, 2018.
A day later, the couple paid Lee $15,000 after Lee allegedly told them that RaShaunda had chosen them to adopt her child.
The indictment alleges that from February to June, Lee communicated with the couple through text messages and phone calls and gave updates, but on June 12, Lee called and said that RaShaunda had been shot and killed and that her baby died on the way to the hospital.
In the indictment, the feds say that RaShunda didn't exist, and that Lee fabricated RaShaunda and her pregnancy.
She is scheduled to be sentenced on Nov. 19, 2019 at federal court in Ann Arbor.
Judge Bernard Friedman locked Lee up back in March after the 7 Investigators caught Lee on camera violating her bond by using a cell phone after she had been ordered not to. Her lawyer has filed a new motion asking that she be released from jail before her trial due to family concerns and the need to prepare for trial.
The feds say Lee has taken in more than $1.6 million since 2017 by working on adoptions without a license.
FBI agents say Lee promised babies that didn’t exist and double matched adoptive couples to the same birth moms in order to bilk couples from across the country out of thousands of dollars.
John Crouch and his wife say they gave Lee $33,000 to adopt a baby boy, that he says he now knows did not exist. But Crouch says his family and dozens of others across the country were left with nothing but heartbreak.
“It affects real people every day. These people that have been affected by this, it’s not just another baby, not just money,” Crouch told 7 Investigator Heather Catallo. “There was hope there for those people and it was completely ripped away from them.”
The indictment references couples from Michigan, Colorado, Minnesota, Georgia, Missouri, South Carolina, Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky, Alabama, Wisconsin, and Illinois. The 7 Investigators have learned there are even more families affected by Lee’s alleged actions than are listed in the indictment. Sources close to the case say at least 80 families in 26 states have been impacted.