Lawyer Pleads Guilty In Baby-selling Case
August 10, 2011 by UPI - United Press International, Inc.
SAN DIEGO, Aug. 10 (UPI) — A San Diego attorney known worldwide as a reproductive law specialist pleaded guilty to a conspiracy charge in what prosecutors said was a baby-selling ring.
Prosecutors said Theresa Erickson, 43, of San Diego and two others developed a register of at least a dozen unborn babies they sold to prospective parents for more than $100,000 each.
Erickson pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, and could be sentenced to a possible five years in a federal prison and fined as much as $250,000, among other penalties, The San Diego Union-Tribune reported Wednesday.
California law allows a woman planning to be a surrogate for someone else to enter an agreement with prospective parents before becoming pregnant. In this case, however, prosecutors said the pregnancies were already established before Erickson and others knew who the parents were.
“They wouldn’t even start shopping for the parents until the second trimester,” said Assistant U.S. Attorney Jason A. Forge, one of the prosecutors who handled the case.
Two other people, another reproductive law attorney and a woman identified in court documents as a “gestational carrier,” also pleaded guilty to conspiracy charges related to the operation.