Crime

Pregnancy was faked to defraud agency, authorities say

Rebecca Freeman
Rebecca Freeman

A Bradenton prostitute with a slew of fraud convictions faces a new fraud charge after a detectives says she claimed to be pregnant to gain financial support from an adoption agency. But she wasn’t pregnant.

Rebecca Freeman, 41, was charged with adoption fraud Thursday, according to the Manatee County Sheriff's Office. She was being held on a $1,500 bond at the Manatee County jail.

On Oct. 1, Freeman reached out to the Family Creations adoption agency in Bradenton to say she was pregnant and wanted to use the agency’s services to put her baby up for adoption, according to an arrest report. At the office, she took a urine pregnancy test to confirm she was pregnant and was sent for an ultrasound for further confirmation.

Between October and Feb. 11, Freeman stayed in contact with the agency and chose a family to adopt her baby. During that time, Freeman reportedly received financial assistance for her rent and for health and comfort care items from the agency.

“However during this time, she failed to make any follow-up doctor appointments for the baby, stating that she knew what needed to be done,” Detective A.J. Begley wrote in the arrest report. “On Feb. 11, Freeman asked for some space, citing family issues.”

The adoption agency became concerned because she was mostly unreachable until earlier this month.

When she came into the office on March 6 to meet with the agency for a case update, she said she was still pregnant and that she was due May 3. Freeman received a $100 check that day and $300 to go toward her rent.

“After this visit, in which Freeman was again instructed that an ultrasound was needed, Freeman still avoided scheduling one,” Begley wrote.

When the agency became more suspicious and decided to further investigate Freeman, they discovered she had been arrested on March 2. Using a medical release she had provided the agency, Family Creations was able to get a copy of her medical intake at the jail, which noted her urine pregnancy test at the time was negative.

Freeman had also listed her last pregnancy to have been in 2014 and her last menstrual cycle two weeks prior.

A judge ordered Freeman into custody on March 3, with a release date of March 6, as a sanction for violating her two-year drug offender probation again. Freeman had violated her probation most recently by getting arrested on a prostitution charge last June for which she was later convicted.

Her current probation is for seven convictions of fraudulent use a credit card, two convictions of uttering a forged instrument and grand theft of more than $300 but less than $5,000.

Jessica De Leon: 941-745-7049, @JDeLeon1012

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