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10-Year Sentence in Scheme to Bilk Adoption System

10-Year Sentence in Scheme to Bilk Adoption System

Published: July 16, 2008

Calling a former Queens woman’s acts “diabolical in nature,” a federal judge in Manhattan sentenced her to more than 10 years in prison on Tuesday for a fraudulent scheme in which she adopted 11 disabled children under four aliases, while collecting $1.68 million meant for their care to support a lavish lifestyle.

The judge, Richard M. Berman of United States District Court, said he agreed with federal prosecutors that the woman, Judith Leekin, 63, used the children as pawns in the scheme, in which she received government adoption subsidies that continued after she moved to Florida a decade ago and lasted until 2007, when her fraud was discovered....

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