Crime

Woman pleads guilty to defrauding families who were trying to adopt

Kent D. Johnson

A Texas woman pleaded guilty Wednesday in Kansas City, Kan., federal court to defrauding families seeking children for adoption, prosecutors said.

Chrystal Marie Rippey, 34, of Marshall, Texas, admitted that she contacted adoption agencies or families who wanted to adopt, telling them she was pregnant, was willing to give up the baby and needed money for living expenses.

In one case, a Delaware couple took Rippey on a two-week beach vacation before she dropped them.

A Shawnee couple put more than $22,000 into an account to pay for her living expenses before she broke off contact. And a California couple, working with an Overland Park adoption agency, provided support for her until they met her in person and saw she wasn’t really pregnant.

Prosecutors and Rippey’s defense have agreed on a 33-month sentence.

To reach Mark Morris, call 816-234-4310 or send email to mmorris@kcstar.com.

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