Scams and shams — August 2015

The founder of Imagine Adoption, Susan Hayhow, pleads guilty to fraud, while NBA All-Star Chris Gatling goes on probation for a 2013 conviction.


No jail for Imagine Adoption’s former exec

The head of the now defunct international adoption agency based in Cambridge, Ont., will serve six months of house arrest, then 18 months of a nightly curfew, after pleading guilty to fraud. Susan Hayhow, founder and former executive director of Imagine Adoption, admitted to charging $46,000 in personal expenses including trips, clothes and cosmetic surgery to a corporate credit card. The fraud came to light in 2009 when the agency went bankrupt, leaving hundreds of hopeful adoptee families in the lurch. Hayhow’s ex-husband and Imagine’s CFO, Rick Hayhow, is serving the same sentence for defrauding the agency out of $87,000.


Chris Gatling


Ex-NBA All-Star arrested in credit card scheme

A former basketball star who earned nearly US$30 million during his 11-year pro career is facing identity theft and credit card fraud charges in Arizona. Chris Gatling, currently on probation for a 2013 fraud conviction in which he tried to rent out a home he was squatting in, is now accused of stealing credit card numbers through online businesses and billing victims for services they didn’t purchase. Gatling played with multiple teams in the NBA from 1991 to 2002, and made All-Star in 1997, which he split between the Dallas Mavericks and New Jersey Nets.


Crash brought man’s 17 lovers to his bedside

After a decade of sponging off his many girlfriends, a man from Changsha, China, known only as Mr. Yuan, has been arrested for fraud. Yuan had kept the concurrent relationships secret from each of the women, but when he landed in hospital following a car accident, all 17 girlfriends — including one he has a child with — showed up. While the lie of a monogamous relationship was immediately clear, the women didn’t twig to the financial fraud until they set up an online chat group called “revenge alliance” and discovered each month he had been asking some of them for money.


Broker tries to con bank

An award-winning mortgage broker is facing jail for lying on his mortgage application. Marcus Copeland, who was once named best broker in the Midlands and Wales, UK, admitted he lied to the bank about his income to obtain an £847,000 ($1.64 million) loan in March 2007 to build his dream home in North Wales. He will be sentenced later this year.


Accountant jailed one day

The crime involved less than $85, yet the perpetrator was sentenced to a day in jail and a $2,750 fine. Yau Yin May, an accountant at Far East Organization in Singapore, stole nine meal vouchers worth about $9 each from her supervisor, and put them toward a $110 meal at Dean and DeLuca, The Straits Times reported. The judge took Yau’s guilty plea and the fact that she had already repaid the money into consideration in his lenient sentencing — Yau could have been jailed up to seven years.