Adoption Scams
Central N.D. woman turns herself in for adoption scam
By Keith Norman The Jamestown Sun
Aug 4, 2018, 04:38

WOODWORTH -- A Woodworth woman wanted since April in connection with an alleged adoption scam turned herself in to Stutsman County authorities Wednesday.

At a court appearance, Southeast District Judge Cherie Clark set bond for Betty Jo Krenz, 47, at $10,000 cash or security. As of 3:30 p.m., Krenz remained in custody in the Stutsman County Correctional Center.

Krenz is charged with theft of property. The criminal complaint alleges she used deception to receive more than $1,000 but less than $10,000 in adoption fees between Feb. 1, 2017, and July 25, 2017. The affidavit of probable cause alleged Krenz collected money from an Oregon woman to help facilitate an adoption of a Native American baby.

Krenz is also charged with unauthorized use of personal identifying information to make purchases of less than $1,000 and a misdemeanor theft charge for retaining one or more cans of pepper spray valued at less than $500.

Court records show an investigation by the Stutsman County Sheriff’s Office began in October 2017 with allegations Krenz had defrauded a woman seeking to adopt a child. The investigation expanded to include allegations that Krenz had participated in scams involving a company that sold pepper spray and other self-defense items.

Assistant Stutsman County State’s Attorney Dana Sims requested Krenz be held on a $25,000 cash bond citing a list of previous convictions for charges including bad checks and driving under the influence under two different names.

Sims also said Krenz was a flight risk because she had connections in Hawaii, where she had been living for the last six months, and among the Native American community.

William Skees, Krenz’s retained attorney, did not ask for a specific bond but requested an amount lower than that requested by the state.

Skees said Krenz had been living and working in Hawaii rather than hiding there from the warrant for her arrest. He asked that she be allowed to return to her job as a sexual assault advocate in Hawaii.

“I came here on my own accord and want this taken care of,” Krenz said during the proceeding. “I wish it could be taken care of in six weeks.”

Clark’s bond order included requirements that Krenz not have contact with three people associated with the case and not leave the state of North Dakota.

No date has been set for a preliminary hearing and/or arraignment in the case.

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