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2 Lawyers Accused of Immigrant Fraud : Courts: Indictment says they helped Hungarian mothers willing to give up babies for adoption enter U.S. illegally.

September 24, 1999|DAVID ROSENZWEIG | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Two lawyers were indicted Thursday in an alleged immigration fraud scheme that arranged for Hungarian mothers to enter the United States illegally so they could give up their babies for adoption in exchange for money.

A nine-count federal indictment named Janice J. Doezie, 49, of Villa Park, who operates a law office in Orange, and Heather E. Barnett, 38, a barrister with offices in Vancouver, British Columbia.

Neither returned telephone calls seeking comment.

According to the indictment, unidentified associates of Doezie would recruit Hungarian women willing to give up their babies for adoption.

The mothers were allegedly offered amounts ranging from $8,000 to $22,000 for a child.

Federal authorities said Doezie and her associates wrote bogus letters of invitation to the women, enabling them to obtain visas to the United States.

When that failed, the indictment said, arrangements were made for the women to fly to Canada, where Barnett would meet them and help smuggle them into this country.

Once across the border, Doezie's associates or the adoptive parents would take the Hungarian mother to Orange County.

The new parents would foot the bill for bringing the women to the United States and for medical care during pregnancies, and they also paid Doezie's legal fees, according to the indictment.

Doezie is charged with conspiracy, bringing illegal immigrants into the country for commercial gain, lying to federal investigators and witness tampering.

Barnett is charged with one count of conspiracy.

The indictment grew out of an investigation by the FBI, IRS, State Department, Border Patrol, Hungarian National Police, Royal Canadian Mounted Police and Irvine Police Department.

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