Saturday, December 13, 2008

Lisa Novak GUILTY: A Victory for All PAPs & APs

This is a true victory for all PAPs (and APs) who were lied to, mistreated, and victimized by their adoption agency. I believe the message is becoming loud and clear: You cannot use orphans to bilk people of their money, their dreams, and their sanity! This woman deserves EVERYTHING that is happening to her ~ and more! I think there are many more guilty verdicts in the future!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Jury Begins Deliberations in Novak Trial (Claar Foundation)

By Heath Urie (Contact)
Originally published 08:00 a.m., December 9, 2008 Updated 01:46 p.m., December 9, 2008

The fate of a former Erie trustee accused of stealing money from prospective parents who used her former Boulder-based adoption agency is now in the hands of a jury.

Lisa Novak, 48, began her trial on multiple theft and fraud charges last Monday. The trial was expected to last up to 12 days, however Novak's defense attorney, Lance Goff, did not call any witnesses and both sides were able to rest their cases on Monday.

Novak did not take the stand in her own defense. Her attorney told jurors that Novak's company policy was clear that fees from prospective parents were not refundable.

Prosecutor Michael Foote began his closing arguments Tuesday by telling the jury that the trial has been "sad."

“This trial was a sad one to sit through for many different reasons," he said. "It was sad to see someone like Lisa Novak stoop so low on so many occasions. It was sad to see so many of her clients betrayed."

Foote said Novak lied to clients.

“All they wanted to do was to bring a child into their family," he said. "Instead, they had to deal with Ms. Novak who was deceptive and manipulative all the way.”

Foote said Novak was the "president, CEO and accountant" of Claar Foundation, and that she was responsible for the decisions of the company.

Novak cannot hide behind a "corporate shield," he said.
Foote told the jury that Novak took her clients' money to sustain her own paycheck, knowing she could not return it or deliver on promises to hopeful families.

“Ms. Novak refuses to take responsibility for that manipulation," Foote said.

"Somebody needs to stand up and tell Ms. Novak this is wrong.”

“She won't do it herself. Ladies and gentlemen, that someone, is you.”

Novak's attorney, Lance Goff, began to deliver his closing arguments shortly after 12:20 p.m.

“This is a business failure case," Goff told the jury. “Every business that fails will be left with creditors. Every one of the complainants in this case is a creditor or potential creditor of Claar Foundation.”

Goff said all the clients who signed on with Novak's former company agreed to certain policies, including that refunding money was never an option.

“Claar Foundation's fee policy is very clear," Goff said. "All fees paid are for services rendered and are non-refundable.”

The panel of jurors were sent to deliberate Novak's fate beginning at 1:30 p.m.
Novak faces nine counts of theft and one count of fraud by check.

Novak is suspected of stealing tens of thousands of dollars from parents hoping to adopt children from other countries. Her former Boulder-based Claar Foundation is at the center of the allegations, with prosecutors saying she used the foundation to help settle a lawsuit brought by her brother.

Focus on Children Defendants to Plead Guilty

By Pamela Manson
The Salt Lake Tribune
December 09, 2009

Former operators and employees of a Wellsville adoption agency accused of fraud in connection with the adoptions of Samoan children are expected to enter guilty pleas in the case.

In a hearing Tuesday afternoon before U.S. District Judge David Sam in Salt Lake City, a prosecutor and defense attorneys for the Focus on Children defendants say they are working out the final details on plea deals for five of the seven defendants in the case.

The judge scheduled hearings for Jan. 6, when plea negotiations are expected to be complete. Four defendants -- Karen Banks, Scott Banks, Coleen Bartlett and Karalee Thornock -- are slated to enter guilty pleas at a morning hearing. The fifth defendant, Dan Wakefield, will appear at an afternoon hearing.

The U.S. government has been unable to extradite the other two defendants, Samoan citizens Tagaloa Ieti and Julie Tuiletufuga, and they are not part of these negotiations.

The lawyers involved in the case declined to give details of the plea agreements.
A federal grand jury in Salt Lake City issued a 135-count indictment in 2007 charging the defendants with fraud and immigration violations.

The indictment claimed the Focus on Children workers duped parents in Samoa into giving the agency their children, falsely saying they would return to them when they turned 18.

In addition, prospective adoptive parents in the United States allegedly were falsely told that the youngsters were orphans.

U.S. immigration laws required the children to be orphans, defined as abandoned by both parents or left with one parent who cannot provide care.
The alleged conspiracy involved about 80 children.

The defendants all pleaded not guilty. Lawyers for the Bankses, who operated Focus on Children, said four of Samoa's most prestigious attorneys had given sworn affidavits describing how Samoan birth parents were repeatedly told they were giving up legal rights to their children and should not expect to see them again.

Focus on Children ceased operations in Utah in the summer of 2007.

Monday, December 8, 2008

America's Most Wanted Airing Sat. 1/3/2009

So, the America's Most Wanted piece about Orson will air on Saturday, January 3rd at 9/8 C on FOX. You have to check your local listings to see what channel it shows on in your area. God willing, someone will know where the scumbag is and call in.