US Court Orders Seizure of Local Bank Account

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.



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