Judge orders $1.2 million payment in adoption agency case | Arkansas Blog

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Judge orders $1.2 million payment in adoption agency case

Posted By on Tue, Aug 20, 2013 at 2:43 PM

Circuit Judge Mackie Pierce today ordered the former owners of Adoption Advantage, a defunct adoptioni agency, to pay $1.2 million in restitution to defrauded potential parents and penalties and ordered them to conduct no business in Arkansas.

Attorney General Dustin McDaniel, who filed a consumer fraud case against the agency in 2010, announced the decision, which follows an April jury verdict. The jury found the agency had made false promises about child placement and raked in thousands in upfront fees from people who never adopted children.

“Many Arkansas families who earnestly wished to adopt were left with despair and heartbreak after dealing with the defendants,” McDaniel said in a news release. “Some consumers gave their life savings to this company to adopt a child. Instead, these callous individuals stole their hopes, dreams and their money.”

A Pulaski County jury in April unanimously found that former owner Donna Hight and former Adoption Advantage employee Jacklyn Potter had violated the Arkansas Deceptive Trade Practices Act. Previously, the court had entered a default judgment against former owner Ed Webb and Adoption Advantage.

In his order issued today, Pulaski County Circuit Judge Mackie Pierce described the defendants’ actions as “simply horrific.” He added that “words cannot adequately describe the despicable conduct,” of the defendants.

Pierce ordered the defendants to pay a total of $850,749 in restitution to affected consumers. He assessed civil penalties of $370,000 to Adoption Advantage, Webb and Hight for 37 violations of the Deceptive Trade Practices Act. Potter was ordered to pay $2,000 in civil penalties.

The State was awarded $33,577 in fees and costs.

The order permanently prohibits the defendants from operating an adoption service in or from Arkansas regardless of the location of the prospective parents. It also prohibits the defendants from offering to facilitate adoptions for Arkansas residents even if the defendants choose to operate from outside Arkansas.

Tags: , , , , ,

From the ArkTimes store

Favorite

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

  • City plans more spending on 30 Crossing

    The Little Rock City Board meets Tuesday to set an agenda for the following week and among the "consent" items is a new $175,000 with Nelson/Nygaard consultants to "assist with a comprehensive review" of the 30 Crossing project, otherwise known as the bigger concrete ditch the Department of Transportation wants to tear through the heart of Little Rock.
    • Sep 24, 2017
  • NFL owners rise to defense of players against Trump and false patriots

    Many football team owners have risen to the defense of players against Donald Trump criticism as yet another racially fraught issue seems likely to gain increasing heat thanks to Trump's rhetoric.
    • Sep 24, 2017
  • The school crisis at 60: A light show and light cast on the lack of progress

    The 60th school crisis anniversary observance continues with a spectacular light show and some sobering thoughts on just what was accomplished and how much progress has been made in theintervening six decades.
    • Sep 24, 2017
  • More »

Readers also liked…

  • Charter school accountability: Non-existent in Arkansas

    A state audit finds charter school spending violated state law, but the state Education Department says it has no responsibility for ensuring proper management of charter schools. Say what?
    • Mar 5, 2016
  • City Board votes to table homeless feeding ordinance for 8 weeks, study with commission

    The Little Rock Board of Directors voted tonight to table for eight weeks an ordinance that homeless advocates say would severely limit the ability of charities to feed homeless people in city parks. Before the ordinance was punted, Vice Mayor Kathy Webb proposed a nine-member commission to study the issue and make recommendations to the board.
    • May 16, 2017
  • Policy group urges opposition to new charter seats in Little Rock

    The Arkansas Public Policy Panel is urging supporters of the Little Rock School District to tell state Board of Education members they oppose applications to be heard this week to dramatically expand the number of charter school seats in the Little Rock School District.
    • Mar 9, 2016

Most Shared

  • ASU to reap $3.69 million from estate of Jim and Wanda Lee Vaughn

    Arkansas State University announced today plans for spending an expected $3.69 million gift in the final distribution of the estate of Jim and Wanda Lee Vaughn, who died in 2013 and 2015 respectively.
  • Bad health care bill, again

    Wait! Postpone tax reform and everything else for a while longer because the Senate is going to try to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act one more time before September ends and while it can do it with the votes of only 50 senators.
  • Sex on campus

    Look, the Great Campus Rape Crisis was mainly hype all along. What Vice President Joe Biden described as an epidemic of sexual violence sweeping American college campuses in 2011 was vastly overstated.
  • The inadequate legacy of Brown

    LRSD continues to abdicate its responsibility to educate poor black students.

Most Viewed

Most Recent Comments

Blogroll

 

© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation