Adoption Agency Manager Pleads Guilty in Uganda and Poland Adoption Procurement Schemes

 

Via USDOJ:
Texas Woman Pleads Guilty to Schemes to Procure Adoptions from Uganda and Poland through Bribery and Fraud

A Texas woman who was a program manager at an Ohio-based international adoption agency pleaded guilty today in the Northern District of Ohio to schemes to procure adoptions of Ugandan and Polish children by bribing Ugandan officials and defrauding U.S. authorities.

According to court documents, Debra Parris, 69, of Lake Dallas, engaged in a scheme with others to bribe Ugandan officials to procure adoptions of Ugandan children by families in the United States. These bribes included payments to (a) probation officers intended to ensure favorable probation reports recommending that a particular child be placed into an orphanage; (b) court registrars to influence the assignment of particular cases to “adoption-friendly” judges; and (c) High Court judges to issue favorable guardianship orders for the adoption agency’s clients. In her plea agreement, Parris also admitted that she continued to direct the adoption agency’s clients to work with her alleged co-conspirator Dorah Mirembe, after knowing that Mirembe caused clients of the adoption agency to provide false information to the U.S. State Department for the purpose of misleading it in its adjudication of visa applications.

According to court documents, in a second scheme, after alleged co-conspirator Margaret Cole, the adoption agency’s Executive Director, learned that clients of the adoption agency determined they could not care for one of the two Polish children they were set to adopt, Parris and her co-conspirator took steps to transfer the Polish child to Parris’s relatives, who were not eligible for intercountry adoption. In her plea agreement, Parris also admitted that after the child was injured and hospitalized, Parris agreed with her co-conspirator to conceal their improper conduct from the U.S. State Department in an attempt to continue profiting from these adoptions.

Parris pleaded guilty to conspiracy to violate the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) and commit visa fraud in connection with the Uganda scheme, and conspiracy to defraud the United States in connection with the Poland scheme. She is scheduled to be sentenced on March 9, 2022. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

Trial against Cole is scheduled to commence on Feb. 7, 2022. Mirembe remains at large.

Assistant Attorney General Kenneth A. Polite Jr. of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division; U.S. Attorney Bridget M. Brennan for the Northern District of Ohio; and Acting Assistant Director Jay Greenberg of the FBI’s Criminal Investigative Division made the announcement.

If you believe you are a victim of this offense, please visit https://www.justice.gov/criminal-fraud/victim-witness-program or call (888) 549-3945.

The FBI’s Cleveland Field Office is investigating the case.

Trial Attorneys Jason Manning and Alexander Kramer of the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section and Assistant U.S. Attorney Chelsea Rice of the Northern District of Ohio are prosecuting the case. The Justice Department’s Office of International Affairs assisted in the investigation.

The Fraud Section has lead responsibility for investigating and prosecuting all FCPA matters. Additional information about the Justice Department’s FCPA enforcement efforts can be found at www.justice.gov/criminal/fraud/fcpa.

An indictment is merely an allegation, and Cole and Mirembe are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

Travels With Mike and Susan: #CzechRepublic, #Slovenia, #Austria, #Poland – August 11-15, 2020

POLAND

AUSTRIA

SLOVENIA

CZECH REPUBLIC

 

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US Ambassador to Poland Georgette Mosbacher Angers Poles

 

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New Ambassadors Saying Hello: Poland, DR, Luxembourg, Argentina, Zimbabwe, Gabon, Rwanda, Lesotho

 

POLAND | Mosbacher, Georgette Paulsin – Republic of Poland – February 2018 

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC | Bernstein, Robin S – Dominican Republic – November 2017 

LUXEMBOURG | Evans, James Randolph – Grand Duchy of Luxembourg – November 2017 

ARGENTINA | Prado, Edward Charles – Argentine Republic – February 2018 

ZIMBABWE | Nichols, Brian A. – Republic of Zimbabwe – June 2018  

GABON | Danies, Joel – Gabonese Republic and Democratic Republic of Sao Tome and Principe – November 2017 

RWANDA | Vrooman, Peter Vrooman – Republic of Rwanda – October 2017 

LESOTHO | Gonzales, Rebecca Eliza – Kingdom of Lesotho – September 2017 

 

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Trump Nominates Georgette Mosbacher to be U.S. Ambassador to Poland

Posted: 2:51 am ET

 

On February 13, the WH announced the nomination of Georgette Mosbacher to be U.S. Ambassador to Poland. The WH released the following brief bio:

Georgette Mosbacher of Florida, to be Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United States of America to the Republic of Poland. Ms. Mosbacher is President of Georgette Mosbacher Enterprises, Inc., an international business and marketing consulting firm she founded in 1992.  She also sits on the U.S. Advisory Commission on Public Diplomacy, to which President Barack Obama appointed her in 2016.  From 2001 to 2015, Ms. Mosbacher served as CEO of Borghese Inc., a global cosmetics manufacturer.  Prior to that, she was CEO of La Prairie Worldwide from 1988 to 1992, and was Marketing Director at Fabregé from 1976 to 1980.  In 1995, she founded the New York Center for Children, which assists children and families in need across New York City.  She sits on the boards of the Atlantic Council, the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund, which supports veterans and military families, and Business Executives for National Security.  Ms. Mosbacher also previously served as a Co-Chair of the Republican National Committee’s Finance Committee, and was the first woman to serve as the General Chairman of the Republican Governors Association.  A published author, she has written two books on female empowerment.  Ms. Mosbacher earned a B.S. from Indiana University Bloomington.

If confirmed, Ms. Mosbacher would succeed career diplomat Paul Wayne Jones (1960–) who was appointed to Warsaw in 2015. Previous appointees to this position include Stephen D. Mull (1958–), the only Career Ambassador ranked diplomat left in active service, and career diplomats Daniel Fried (1952–), and Christopher Robert Hill (1952–).  The most recent political appointee to this position was Lee Andrew Feinstein (1959–) who was appointed to Warsaw from 2009-2012.

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An American Diplomat in Poland With His Red “Baby”, a Fiat 126 From the 70’s

Posted: 1:32 am ET
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Below is a video from U.S. Embassy Warsaw featuring one of our consular officers driving around Poland in his Maluch, a Fiat 126 which was introduced at the Turin Auto show in 1972. The car was manufactured in Poland until 2000 and was exported to many Eastern bloc countries. In Poland, it is called  called Maluch, which means “small one”, baby or toddler. It is known as kispolszki (“little Polish”) in Hungary, Bolha (“flea”) in Slovenia, Bambino in Germany,  “Polaquito” in Cuba and Peglica (“little iron”) in Serbia.

This guy’s a natural, hey!  The video has walk on parts by other embassy employees, as well as the Ambassador to Poland Paul Jones. We don’t speak Polish but it looks like he’s having fun explaining why he loves his red “baby.” Apparently the Poles love him–the video is all over the local news outlets.  Already interviewed on the morning news, sounds like his language skills are also impressive.  Luv the matching jacket, Dan!

 

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Secretary Kerry Swears-in Paul W. Jones as U.S. Ambassador to Poland

Posted: 12:12  am EDT
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Via state.gov

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry swears in Paul Jones as the next U.S. Ambassador to Poland at the U.S. Department of State in Washington, D.C., on September 11, 2015. [State Department photo/ Public Domain]

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry swears in Paul Jones as the next U.S. Ambassador to Poland at the U.S. Department of State in Washington, D.C., on September 11, 2015. [State Department photo/ Public Domain]

Certificate of Competency via State/HR –Jones Paul W. – Republic of Poland – June 2015

From the White House announcement, June 8, 2015:

Paul Wayne Jones, a career member of the Foreign Service, class of Career Minister, currently serves as Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State in the Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs, a position he has held since 2013.  Mr. Jones previously served as Ambassador to Malaysia from 2010 to 2013.  Prior to that, he served as Deputy Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan from 2009 to 2010.  He also served as Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in Manila, Philippines from 2005 to 2009 and at the U.S. Mission to the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) in Vienna, Austria from 2004 to 2005.  Mr. Jones served as Director in the State Department’s Office of South Central Europe from 2001 to 2003 and as Director of the Office of the Secretariat Staff from 2000 to 2001.  From 1996 to 1999, Mr. Jones was Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in Skopje, Macedonia.  His earlier assignments with the Department of State include postings in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Colombia, and Russia.

Mr. Jones received a B.A. from Cornell University, an M.A. from the University of Virginia, and an M.A. from the Naval War College.

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U.S. Embassy Poland: Ambassador Steve Mull Flies in F-16, Reportedly Lands Top #IranDeal Job

Posted: 3:55 pm EDT
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US Embassy Warsaw: Ambassador Steve Mull Honored For His Service in Poland

Posted: 2:29 am  EDT
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Polish President Bronislaw Komorowski, awarded the U.S. Ambassador to Poland Stephen Mull with the Commander’s Cross with Star of the Order of Polonia Restituta, in Warsaw, Poland, on July 7, 2015.  According to the AP, President Komorowski cited Ambassador Mull’s contribution to promoting Poland’s freedom and helping improve the county’s security.

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