Texas Man Pleads Guilty to Two Charges, 14 Others Dropped
BOSTON (AP) _ A man pleaded guilty Thursday in connection with an adoption network charged with taking $750,000 from couples across the country, promising Mexican children who never arrived.
Bryan M. Hall, 38, of El Paso, Texas, pleaded guilty to mail and wire fraud and conspiracy charges before U.S. District Judge Arthur Garrity. The judge said 14 other mail and wire fraud charges would be dismissed at Hall’s June 6 sentencing.
Hall still faces 15 charges of mail and wire fraud from indictments handed up Feb. 13 in Utah.
Hall was among five people indicted in Boston or Salt Lake City in February on charges of defrauding 350 prospective parents, mostly in Massachusetts and Utah, of at least $750,000 for adoptive children from 1978 to 1983.
Many couples paid $400 to $6,000 for the children, but never saw them, prosecutors said.
The others charged are Lorenzo Prospero Arzola, a Mexican attorney, who has not been arrested; Deborah Rae Tanner, 35, and Terry Tanner, 38, of Willcox, Arizona, who are scheduled to stand trial June 17 in Utah; and Rebecca Kelley, 32, of New Market, Iowa.
At least three Massachusetts agencies had dealings with the defendants, including World Adoption Services of Newton, Alliance for Children of Needham and the now-defunct Adoption Associates for All Children of Salem, said Susan McFarland of the Massachusetts Office for Children.
″We don’t lay the blame on the agencies because in some cases they were taken in as much as the parents were,″ Michael Coughlin, spokesman for the Office for Children, said at the time.
The defendants are charged with defrauding couples in 40 states.