A US district court in November ordered funds held at a Cambodian bank by convicted baby-broker Lauryn Galindo to be handed over to the US government.
The US District Court in Seattle, in the state of Washington, ordered that all money held in an account at the Cambodian Commercial Bank in the name of Galindo and her sister, Lynn Devin, be forfeited to the US, according to a copy of the order dated Nov 19 and obtained Wednesday.
The court ordered the US Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement to seize the funds.
Whether money has been taken from the account and how much money was there at the time the order was issued could not be established Wednesday.
A man identifying himself as the bank’s deputy general manager said he had no information on the account and referred questions to the US Embassy.
The US Embassy declined comment, saying the case falls under the jurisdiction of the US Justice Department.
Galindo, a US citizen, pleaded guilty in June to charges in a US federal court of visa fraud, money laundering and currency structuring related to her overseas adoption work in Cambodia.
Between 1997 and 2001, her Seattle International Adoptions agency arranged at least 700 adoptions in Cambodia, mostly for the US.
Court documents obtained in August showed Galindo directed payments of up to $3,500 to government officials for each adoption she facilitated.
If the fee was standard for each adoption, as the documents suggested, Cambodian officials may have profited $2.45 million during the time Galindo operated here. The government has said it does not charge fees for adoptions.
Devin has pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit visa fraud and money laundering.
An additional document from the District Court in Seattle dated Dec 17 and viewed Wednesday ordered that any money held by Devin at the Cambodian Commercial Bank also be forfeited to US authorities.
Galindo was sentenced to
18 months in November and Devin was sentenced to 6 months house arrest in December.