CLEARWATER, Fla. (AP) — Authorities say two Florida women scammed two adoptive couples in cases that appear unrelated but started when they were pregnant in the same jail.
In a news release, the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office says no evidence indicates the scams were coordinated, but said both women signed the pre-birth agreements around the same time while being held at the county jail in Clearwater, Florida.
Authorities arrested 30-year-old Angelica Lopez and 26-year old Ceara Rae Stowe this week on adoption deception charges.
Officials say in both cases, the couples from Florida and Nebraska communicated with the women while in jail and after their release. The women hid the babies’ births but continued receiving payment per the agreements.
Stowe gave birth to twins who are now in custody of her mother. Lopez’s baby was appointed a caregiver.