Archive for the ‘Magistrate Judge Samuel Alba’ category

Adoption scam

March 5, 2007

The Utah based adoption agency “Focus on Children” is at the center of an adoption scam investigation. 

A 135-count indictment unsealed last Thursday accuses Focus on Children and seven of its operators of lying to both birth parents and prospective adoptive parents.

“The defendants allegedly told Samoan residents that their children would be temporarily placed in the United States to be educated and would return when they reached adulthood. The parents in the United States allegedly were told that the children were orphans and that the placements were permanent.”


The Christensens are back in court – Judge J. Thomas Greene and Magistrate Judge Samuel Alba

August 23, 2006

Steven and Diane Christensen reached a plea deal with prosecutors last year after being charged with several crimes including bank fraud and tax evasion.  The plea deal kept them out of jail pending sentencing and would have sentenced the couple to no more than 5 years in jail.

However, on August 9, 2006, a federal grand jury indicted the high spending couple on new charges of bank fraud, aggravated identity theft and committing a federal offense while on release.

As reported by the Salt Lake Tribune:

“In the early 1990s, they were living the good life, with an employee-leasing and payroll business in Midvale and an array of nice possessions: A 17,000-square-foot home under construction, a Dodge Viper, two boats, an eight-carat diamond ring and artwork. 

“But within a few years, the luxury items were handed over to First Utah Bank to settle a lawsuit claiming the Christensens had defrauded the financial institution out of nearly $13 million. Their enterprises, Paragon Business Solutions and Professional Staffing Advantages, were put under control of a court-appointed receiver.”

U.S. Magistrate Samuel Alba has ruled they are a danger to the community and ordered them held in jail pending resolution of the latest case. U.S. District Judge J. Thomas Greene will review Alba’s detention order at a Thursday hearing and schedule further proceedings in the new matter.