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Adoption official pleads guilty to fraud in SC

COLUMBIA — A former adoption agency official has pleaded guilty to conspiring with others to defraud the United States by paying bribes to foreign officials and submitting fraudulent documents to the State Department for adoptions from Ethiopia.

U.S. Attorney Bill Nettles said in a news release Wednesday 42-year-old Alisa Bivens had pleaded guilty in federal court in South Carolina.

Bivens worked for International Adoption Guides Inc. Prosecutors say she admitting submitting fraudulent documents to the State Department to facilitate adoptions of Ethiopian children by U.S. parents from 2006 until 2009. She also submitted false adoption contracts signed by orphanages that could not properly give the children up for adoption.

Nettles says Bivens admitted bribing two Ethiopian officials so that those officials would help with the fraudulent adoptions.

Bivens will be sentenced later.

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