CAROLINA BEACH, N.C. (WECT) — A Carolina Beach woman is accused of scamming potential parents in a nationwide adoption scheme.
Wendy George, 37, appeared before a New Hanover County judge Friday afternoon, facing four counts of obtaining property by false pretense. She was arrested February 21.
The District Attorney’s Office said she used various message boards and Facebook groups to reach out to at least 12 potential victims pretending to be pregnant and offering the child up for adoption. She provided an ultrasound for proof, according to officials.
George is accused of scamming couples from California, Wisconsin, Nebraska, and Kansas. District Attorney Ben David believes there are more victims.
“We have continued to receive calls at the District Attorney’s Office and the Carolina Beach Police Department from women around the country,” David explained.
During Geroge’s court appearance, David asked that her bond be set at $1 million.
While arguing for the bond increase, David said, “This goes beyond the pale. If you consider the magnitude of harm caused, this is something that contemplates active incarceration under any charitable scenario we can be discussing. If you look at her past, she runs.”
The judge did not grant that request, saying local guidelines call for a $25,000 bond on the high end for similar charges. But the judge said given her criminal history, she would set it at $500,000.
If George posts bond, she will be on electronic arrest and can only leave her house for religious, employment, or medical reasons or to speak with an attorney.
Following George’s court appearance, David said a dedicated tip line has been set up for any additional victims in the community to come forward. That number is (910) 458-1246.
In 2012, George was convicted in New Hanover County of 16 counts of obtaining property by false pretense. She fraudulently rented out condos at Carolina Beach in those cases.
She’s also been convicted of similar charges in Wake and Johnston counties.