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Judge denies request to set aside Tara Lee's sentence

Tara Lee
Posted at 12:26 PM, May 02, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-03 11:41:17-04

(WXYZ) — A federal judge has denied a request to vacate, set aside or correct the sentence for Tara Lee, the Macomb County mom who was sentenced in an adoption fraud scheme.

U.S. District Court Judge Bernard Friedman issued the opinion on Monday, denying the request.

Related: 'She’s a monster.' Couple says Tara Lee deserves no leniency in adoption scheme

Lee, who was sentenced to 10 years in prison after pleading guilty to two counts of wire fraud, asked for the sentence to be vacated, set aside or corrected for a variety of reasons.

She argued that the government breached the plea agreement and said her attorneys provided her with ineffective assistance of counsel. In the motion, Friedman set out reasons why he said that didn't happen.

The 7 Investigators first exposed Lee back in 2018. The 38-year-old pleaded guilty to two counts of wire fraud as part of an adoption fraud scheme.

Lee acknowledged in her plea that she made up fake birth mothers, told adoptive couples that babies died when they never existed and double-matched couples with the same birth moms. As part of her plea deal, she’s facing 8 to 10 years behind bars.

In a sentencing memorandum unveiled in federal court in 2020, feds say Lee took $2.1 million since 2014. They say her “luxury expenditures” totaled $372,892.63, including $44,065.03 spent at Louis Vuitton, $42,705.91 spent at David Yurman, and $34,899.44 spent at Saks Fifth Avenue.