Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Couple Guilty in Baby Scheme

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Couple Guilty in Baby Scheme

Article excerpt

They were accused of peddling their unborn child to adoption

attorneys up and down the East Coast.

And now, less than two weeks after the boy was born, a

Jacksonville judge has released Christopher Eugene Thompson and

Kelly Card, both 26, from jail. But not without stipulations.

Circuit Judge Jack Schemer yesterday barred the couple from

taking any funds from adoption agencies in the future unless

approved by a court order. The directive came as part of the

couple's probation conditions after they pleaded guilty to

charges of grand theft.

Thompson and Card had been in jail since February, when they

were accused of accepting money from Michael Shorstein, a local

adoption lawyer, while simultaneously working with adoption

attorneys in Bradenton, New York and Pennsylvania.

After the couple pleaded guilty yesterday, Schemer sentenced

each to time served in county jail and 18 months probation, to

include paying $700 in restitution to Shorstein, $253 in court

costs and not accepting adoptive funds unless approved by the

court.

"I think it's very disturbing as to what they were involved

in," said Assistant State Attorney Andrew Kantor. "They were

using this child to live on, and I think it's very unfortunate."

But Thompson said he and his girlfriend were not working with

any adoption attorneys besides Shorstein and should not have

been arrested.

"I think it's a big ripoff," Thompson said. "I don't think we

should have been in here [jail] at all."

The couple -- who have lived in both Florida and New York --

were accused of accepting gift certificates from Shorstein and

$1,100 that was to be used for rent.

When Shorstein discovered the couple had moved out of

Thompson's mother's Daytona Beach home, he stopped payment on

the rent check that was sent to Thompson's mother. …

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