WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Investigators in New Hanover County say at least a dozen people in several different states have contacted them claiming to have been ripped off online by a Carolina Beach woman who they say offered her baby for adoption, even though investigators don’t think she is even pregnant.
A judge this afternoon increase bond for Wendy George (aka Wendy George Rickman) from $35,000 to $500,000 after she was charged with a fourth count of obtaining property by false pretense.
District Attorney Ben David said the charges stem from calls to his office and Carolina Beach Police about George, 37. David said in court the alleged victims claimed George used online communities, including Expectant Moms Thinking of Adoption, Free Adoption No Fees, Domestic Adoption Support Network and Mommy’s Angels Support Group, for mothers looking to adopt or find surrogates. David and Carolina Beach detectives say they expect to file more charges against George as they develop more information about the complaints they have already received and more victims they believe may come forward as word gets out.
Carolina Beach Police have set up a dedicated tip line for anyone who thinks they may be a victim of George. The phone number to call is (910) 458-1246.
David asked Judge Lindsey Luther to increase George’s bond to $1 million, because he said he believes she’s a flight risk and has done this sort of thing before. David said George was convicted in 2012 in New Hanover County on 16 counts of obtaining property by false pretense in connection with condos in Carolina Beach. Investigators in that case said George and her husband rented out condos and collected money before the guests arrived. When folks got there, they realized something was wrong when they couldn’t get into the building, or in the case of an address at Wrightsville Beach, they realized what they paid for was an empty lot.
Stay with WWAY NEWS for more on this developing story.