Theresa Erickson, a reproductive law specialist, was sentenced today for running a baby-selling ring, reported Fox 5 San Diego.
Erickson is a prominent attorney in San Diego, according to the Los Angeles Times, and has appeared on ABC News and CNN to discuss issues in reproductive law, according to her American Surrogacy Center profile.
The lawyer pleaded guilty in August to conspiracy to commit wire fraud for transmitting fake documents to the Superior Court of California and falsifying information to the couples whose babies were born through surrogates she recruited, according to ABC News. She faced up to five years in jail, reported the Associated Press.
Erickson was sentenced to five months in prison followed by seven months of home confinement, according to Fox 5 San Diego. She was also fined $70,000 and must undergo three years of supervised release.
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Erickson ran an international baby-selling ring, according to NBC San Diego, and sent women to the Ukraine to receive embryo implants so their babies could be sold to parents who were unaware of the scheme. They believed the babies were available because other families had backed out of the surrogacy arrangements when, in actuality, another family had never been part of the plans.
According to the AP, Erickson used California's thriving surrogacy business to find her clients, and then convinced couples to pay up to $150,000 for each baby. She set up agreements with at least 12 couples.
Erickson's co-defendant Carla Chambers, a nurse from Las Vegas, was sentenced to five months in prison and five months home confinement, according to Fox 5 San Diego. Hilary Neiman, a Maryland attorney, also pleaded guilty in the case. She was also sentenced in December to five months in prison and seven months in home confinement.