to house arrest
for adoption fraud
Lynn Devin and her sister on
Kauai dealt with Cambodian kids
SEATTLE » A woman whose adoption agency obtained Cambodian children for American parents has been sentenced in federal court to six months of house arrest and electronic monitoring.
Lynn Devin of Mercer Island, a Seattle suburb, was sentenced Friday after pleading guilty to conspiracy to commit visa fraud and launder money.
She and her sister, Lauryn Galindo, 53, of Hanalei, Kauai, had run Seattle International Adoptions, an agency that handled adoptions of Cambodian children.
Galindo admitted she organized a scheme in which some Cambodian children were taken from their families and represented on immigration forms as orphans from 1997 to 2001.
Prosecutors said some of their children were taken from their mothers for a small payment, and some of their visas had been obtained through fraud.
Last month, Galindo was sentenced to 18 months in federal prison after pleading guilty to conspiracy to commit visa fraud and launder money. She also was ordered to perform 300 hours of community service, forfeit her $1.4 million home and pay more than $60,000 in restitution.
Devin, who provided information to authorities about her sister, received a lesser sentence. Besides house arrest, she was ordered to forfeit $110,000 and pay $10,900 in restitution and a $30,000 fine.
"The court has been particularly impressed with the fact that, from all indications, your motivation was not money or greed, but was to help children," U.S. District Judge Thomas Zilly told Devin on Friday.
While Galindo ran the Cambodian part of the business, Devin was in charge of recruiting adoptive parents in the United States.
Prosecutors said there was no evidence Devin was aware that babies were being bought from parents. However, she was aware that in some cases when an adoption fell through, another child was substituted even though the first child's information was on the passport and visa applications.