BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. – Agents with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) have arrested a Cocoa woman and charged her with grand theft in an alleged adoption fraud case, the FDLE said in a statement.
The FDLE said it has arrested April Stormy Norris, 33, of Cocoa, for one count of grand theft.
According to the FDLE, its investigation began in March after the Rockledge Police Department requested FDLE investigate an allegation of adoption fraud. Agents said it discovered that Norris offered her unborn child up for adoption via an adoption agency and chose a couple to adopt her baby.
Investigators said they found that the couple paid the agency $11,362.72, which was sent to Norris for rent, phone bills, car repairs, and other expenses. The investigation showed that Norris purchased numerous baby supplies with the funds, told people she never planned to give up her child, was untruthful about knowing the identity of the father, and lied about where she was living, the FDLE said.
Agents say that, shortly before the baby was born, Norris ceased communication with the agency and adoptive parents, changed doctors and hospitals, and told hospital staff not to tell the agency or adoptive parents that the baby had been born.
Meanwhile, the FDLE said she continued to receive financial support even after the baby was born, despite hiding the birth from the agency and adoptive parents.
The adoption agency reported the total reported monetary loss due to Norris’s actions was nearly $15,000.
Norris was served with the felony charge at the Brevard County Jail on Friday, where she was already in custody on unrelated charges. The case will be prosecuted by the Office of the State Attorney, 18th Judicial Circuit.