MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

November 8, 2012

Adoption fraud case enhanced

By Wendy Burton
Phoenix Staff Writer

— A Muskogee woman who was already charged with defrauding couples hoping to adopt a nonexistent baby has now been charged with wire and mail fraud.

A federal grand jury handed down 22 counts of wire fraud and one count of mail fraud Wednesday against Davanna Deamber Dotson, 21.

Dotson is accused of contacting individual families looking to adopt a child or adoption agencies and claiming she had a baby she wanted to place for adoption, according to the indictment.

Dotson was charged in Muskogee County District Court in September 2011 with eight counts of obtaining money by false pretenses for allegedly taking money from parents hoping to adopt a baby. She was then charged with another count Oct. 2.

Dotson is in the Muskogee County/City Detention Facility without bond, according to court records.

Her scheme involved families and agencies in Alabama, Arkansas, Illinois, Louisiana, Ohio, Oklahoma, Virginia and Texas.

She allegedly received amounts as little as $8 and as much as $442.50 from the families and agencies.

Sometimes, Dotson would say she already had a baby, and other times she would say she was pregnant, the indictment states.

She allegedly would tell the families or agencies she lived in the same state as they did, then say she was stranded in Oklahoma and needed money to get home and bring them the baby, or for food, diapers or gas.

The indictment lists 11 people, by initials only, who sent money to Dotson either by Western Union, through a bank transfer, through Green Dot cards or Money Gram.

Dotson returns to Muskogee County District Court for a jury trial on the September case Jan. 18, and she is scheduled for a preliminary hearing in the Oct. 2 case on Jan. 3.

If convicted of the federal charges, Dotson faces up to 20 years imprisonment and/or up to a $250,000 fine.

Reach Wendy Burton at (918) 684-2926 or wburton@muskogeephoenix.com.