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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

2 Plead Guilty in Adoption Scheme

BATON ROUGE, Louisiana — A Louisiana attorney and a Russian woman have pleaded guilty to running an immigration scam to obtain babies for adoption in the United States, according to U.S. federal court documents unsealed Tuesday.

The scheme by attorney and social worker Nina Sue Broyles, executive director of the licensed, not-for-profit adoption agency Special Delivery Adoption Services Inc., and Olga Lexeyeva Roquemore involved bringing pregnant Russian women to the United States on fraudulently obtained "business" or "pleasure" visas, said U.S. Attorney Bryan Jackson.

Roquemore, living in the United States as a legal permanent resident, served as an interpreter and counselor for Special Delivery, he said.

Immediately after the infants' births, they were surrendered for adoption by American parents and the birth mothers were quickly sent back to Russia, most with a $1,000 payment, Jackson said.

In Russia, Yury Pchevetchersky acted as a facilitator for the scheme by locating the pregnant women and making false statements on visa applications, for which he was paid $15,000 per birth mother, Jackson said. Special Delivery wired in excess of $400,000 to Pchevetchersky's or his wife's personal bank accounts in Russia and Germany, the U.S. Attorney said.

According to court documents, about 33 pregnant Russian women entered or tried to enter the United States to surrender their babies for adoption through Special Delivery between December 1994 and the end of 1998.

Pchevetchersky recruited and provided visas for 31 of them using phony letters of invitation to business functions faxed to him by Broyles and Roquemore. The letters were given to the women to present to Immigration and Naturalization Service officials on arrival in the United States.

The scheme began unraveling when Jackson said Broyles and Roquemore lied to INS officials in February 1997 while trying to gain admittance to the country for another pregnant Russian woman to enter through Atlanta on her second trip to surrender a baby to Special Delivery. The woman, who had given up one infant early in 1996, had no luggage and only about $200 in cash along with an old business invitation from the 1996 trip.

When questioned by officials, she admitted she was not employed as the letter stated and that her most recent job had been raising pigs on a farm, Jackson said. At the same time, Roquemore, who was waiting for the woman at the airport, told officials the pregnant woman was going to stay with her for a one-week vacation; and Broyles claimed the woman was going to help establish a casket company in Russia, Jackson said.

He said a companion investigation is under way in Russia. Four Russian citizens, including Pchevetchersky, have been arrested and charged with baby selling, Jackson said, adding that Russian officials provided substantial assistance in the U.S. investigation.

The unsealed court documents revealed that Broyles pleaded guilty May 31 to conspiracy to make false statements to the INS and is facing up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Roquemore, who pleaded guilty on April 9 to failing to report a felony, faces a maximum sentence of three years in prison and a $250,000 fine. No sentencing date was set.