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Assisted Reproduction

Bernie Madoff Looks Good In Comparison

Very few things anger me more than learning that “professionals” in the infertility industry have robbed their clients blind.  What makes these criminal acts so egregious is that in addition to depriving their clients of their life savings, they are stealing something even more precious – their hopes and dreams.

Many in the industry are aware of a surrogate and egg donor agency called B Coming.   What many may not know is that B Coming has dozens of couples who have alleged that they provided the agency with tens, even hundreds of thousands of dollars, and were provided with nothing.  Zilch.  Not a surrogate, not an egg donor, not even the courtesy of an explanation.  Our office alone is representing more than a dozen clients who have claimed to have been defrauded by this agency.  We have already obtained one judgment, in excess of $120,000.00, against B Coming on behalf of a Taiwanese client.

Take a look at the B Coming website and you will not even find a physical address, just a P.O. Box.  Many years ago, another agency called Options concealed their office location as well.  I recall during a break in a 60 Minutes interview being told by the producer of the segment that Options required 60 Minutes to sign a non-disclosure agreement, promising not to reveal the address should they film at the location. Thereafter, I confronted the owner of Options at a Resolve conference and asked her why the secrecy.  In an incredible moment of candor, she explained to me that she did not release the address because of concern about being located by process servers.   Not too long afterward, Options was out of business and its clients funds gone.

Interestingly enough, B Coming managed to evade service by our office for several months.  As fate would have it, they showed up at ASRM’s annual meeting in Washington, D.C. and we effected service in the middle of the conference.  Not surprisingly, they packed up their booth and missed the final two days. Nevertheless, they continue to operate today and attempts to attract the attention of law enforcement has failed as most of their victims are foreign nationals.

This leads me to the newest fiasco to rock our industry.  Word has it that the Michael Charles Group has shuttered their doors and absconded with their clients’ trust funds with the FBI in hot pursuit.   For those unaware, the Michael Charles Group was a popular escrow company for several surrogate and donor agencies.  A visit to the Michael Charles Group’s website results in a page that simply says “no resource” which would by ironically funny if they had not just dashed the dreams of uncounted couples seeking to have families as well as their surrogates and donors who may not receive their compensation or expense reimbursement. For those interested, you can still see the rest of the Michael Charles Group website by going through the back door as they did not think to take off any other pages but the home page. Parenthetically, Michael Charles’ website claims that they are a “bonded corporation with all funds being held in federally insured accounts.” It will be interesting to find out if they had any kind of fidelity bond insurance or if they were being disingenuous and only referring to FDIC insurance. I would also like to find out if there really is an individual by the name of Michael Charles or if it was a fictitious artifice to lend credibility along the lines of a Charles Schwab or E.F. Hutton.

I have also been hearing from couples that are using SurroGenesis USA, a surrogate and donor agency that is inexplicably intertwined with the Michael Charles Group.  According to these couples, SurroGenesis was using Michael Charles and their funds are gone, leaving them with no ability to pay their surrogates, egg donors, insurance premiums, etc….. While this case is only just now unfolding, there appears to be more than just a casual connection between SurroGenesis and Michael Charles and it will be interesting to find out of their potentially incestuous relationship was ever disclosed to the couples who entrusted their funds to this financial group.

In doing a bit of digging, we have learned that the CEO of SurroGenesis USA, Tonya Collins, is the Agent for Service of Process for the Michael Charles Group.  While the California Secretary of State does not have the Statement of Officers available online, it would not surprise me to learn that Ms. Collins is more than just the Agent for Service.

I also took a look at SurroGenesis’ website and came across something that gave me pause.  SurroGenesis claims to have 60 locations throughout the world to service their couples.  I was initially impressed at the size of this organization but a bit perplexed because while I had heard of them, I had no idea they were such a large and well-funded organization that had a true global reach. But then I noticed that they claim to only have 8 employees according to their website.  So 60 “locations” and only 8 employees?  It shouldn’t take long for the alarm bells to go off so when we looked at the 60 different “locations” we found that they had assigned an individual staff member to multiple locations.  As an example, Ms. Collins appears as the Director for, among others, Alaska, Modesto, Wisconsin, Virginia and Brazil!  Even Dr. Manhattan from the Watchmen couldn’t possibly be in all those places at the same time.  Even more disconcerting is that in going through randomly and looking at several of their “locations” we discovered that they are nothing more than P.O. Boxes.

So why go to such lengths to create this facade?  Clearly SurroGenesis wanted to portray itself as a substantial company with an international reach and the kind of resources necessary to achieve results for their clients.  I have no doubt that many couples impressed by the “magnitude” of their operation, entrusted their hopes, dreams and money to SurroGenesis.  Just like investors did with Bernie Madhoff.

Today, these couples are facing canceled cycles or the uncertainty of not knowing what will happen with their ongoing pregnancies.  I have already learned of one case where health insurance was lost because the premiums were not paid.  So in addition to the Intended Parents now having to find a way to meet their contractual obligations to their surrogate with their funds gone, they also may have to pay all the medical bills because of the loss of coverage.

It is incumbent upon our industry to do more to regulate ourselves.  It is inconceivable that establishments, built upon a house of cards, can be allowed to operate.  The community as a whole needs to identify these programs and do a much better job of warning patients and clients about the dangers of these programs.

For those Intended Parents and Surrogates who are being affected currently, I implore you to seek out independent counsel.  If your attorney was provided to you by the agency (or has an ownership interest in the agency), I strongly encourage you to find someone else immediately.  Preserve whatever documents you have.  In addition to contacting law enforcement, you need to get in contact with your surrogate, donor and/or couple to see what you can do to salvage your relationship.  Speak to your physician about the options available to you. Print out copies of the agency’s websites before it disappears or is altered.  I have already found disturbing signs of an agency editing their website in the last week to avoid potential scrutiny.  Fortunately there are resources on the internet where you can find the archived pages, but it is still good practice to collect all the information you can now.

For those considering an agency; be wary. Do not be impressed by a flashy website or professionally produced DVD. That is all marketing. Look beyond the smoke and mirrors and speak to your Reproductive Endocrinologist or their nurse coordinator to get the real skinny on the agency. Seek out independent mental health professionals and attorneys who are not affiliated with the agency to find out their experience. Be wary of community forums that tout how wonderful these programs are because many of them are sponsored or even operated by these agencies. If the SurroGenesis/Michael Charles abomination has taught us anything it is that there are potentially undisclosed relationships between organizations which, had they been disclosed, would have materially affected a client’s decision. Try to speak to Intended Parents and Surrogates who worked with the program to find out what their experiences were. Lastly, contact the Better Business Bureau to find out if their are complaints against the agency you are considering.

Sadly, it is too early to know how many lives will be affected by the Michael Charles Holding Company debacle.  We are only beginning to learn about the number of agencies that were using this company (very possibly unaware of what was taking place or their affiliation with SurroGenesis) to administer their clients’ trust accounts.  They say that sunlight is the best disinfectant and hopefully we can start weeding out these programs before too many other people fall victim to their unscrupulous business practices.

UPDATE: Since I posted this, I have learned that there are more than 33 victims of this fraud and the embezzled funds exceed $1,000,000.

UPDATE II: I have been informed that there are now 2 other agencies who had placed their clients’ trust funds with Michael Charles Holdings.

Discussion

87 comments for “Bernie Madoff Looks Good In Comparison”

  • kate lyon

    Andy – for anyone that is a victim of Michael Charles and/or SurroGenesis, there is an attorney, Sterling Johnson, who is coordinating all the victims and acting as a point person.

    His information is
    Sterling Johnson
    415-457-1214
    (fax: 415-457-1324)
    sterlingjo@earthlink.net

    He has been amazing thus far. He needs to know your name, who you have been harmed by and what money is owed or has been taken from you. There is a master list of victims that has been put together.

    In the alternative, victims can also send an email to me at kate@lyonfamilyformationlaw.com and I will make sure the information gets to Sterling. He is doing this on his own time, on his own dime, because he cares about what is happening.

  • Heather

    I was just reading your post about SurroGenesis. First off let me say that i am crushed by what Tonya has done, i truly feel for all of the people who have been swindled by her.

    As a former employee and surrogate i know for a fact that Michael Charles was owned by SurroGenesis, and Tonya had complete control over the trust accounts. I even know how the name Michael Charles came about.

    I know if several IP’s who are out thousands of dollars, and surrogates who have not gotten paid. Also people like myself who have medical bills that have not been paid and now been sent to collections. This is truly a horrible company, and i hope Tonya gets whats coming to her. It is so mean of me to say this but i would so love to hear Tonya was taken advantage of on prison by a fellow inmate, but since she was already having a sexual relationship with her co worker Ann Robinson, i don’t see how that would be a punishment.

    • Heather, I am very sorry to hear about your experiences. I hope you have spoken to your attorney about the outstanding medical bills as you may have some recourse available to you. I also think your experience with SurroGenesis would be of immeasurable help to other victims. You might want to contact Sterling Johnson, Esq. who is serving as a liaison between the victims and the FBI.

      Good luck to you.

      • Heather

        How do i get a hold of Sterling Johnson? And i have contacted my lawyer, but she is not getting back to me…

    • Virginia

      Heather, as a former employee…what do you know about Jack Kiserow?

      • Heather

        Jack was my very first case manager… I dealt with him for over a year. What do you want to know about him?

        • virginia

          Well, he is the other registered owner of Michael Charles…..so he is half responsible for the funds. Wanted you to shed some light on his character if you could.

          • Heather

            Yes Jack is the Other Registered owner of Michael Charles. Jack’s middle name is Charles, and his partners name is Michael, thats how the name Michael Charles came about. As far as i know Jack did not have anything to do with they Trust accounts. Michael Charles was located in the Modesto office on Oakdale road. Tonya was at the Modesto Office, where Michael Charles was. When Tonya packed up and moved to Texas she moved Michael Charles to Texas shortly after she moved.

            So like i said I don’t think Jack had anything to do with whats going on.If he did i would be Shocked…

    • jad

      i too was an IP, although our goal was reached in having twin babies, Ann Robinson and Tonya were nothing but trouble to begin with. I had trusted that the hospital that my children were to be born in would be covered by medi-Cal and it wasn’t. They informed me that they would accept it. In fact they didnt for ICU car days later i had no choice but to transfer them. The hospital on the other hand did not tell me this either as they were only interested in exhausting the trust account. Secondly the hospital bills were over $12K and the hospital claim to me that Surrogenesis claimed that the would not pay the hospital due to the funds in the trust was only for the surrogate. ( where in fact I had to transfer $12K on the 20th week of pregnanacy due to not having insurance at the time as i was an international). So in fact yes, Ann Robinson is cruel, Tonya is unethical and both should get what they deserve. A real hard time….

      • anon

        “I had trusted that the hospital that my children were to be born in would be covered by medi-Cal and it wasn’t.”

        Uhhh, this may not be the place for such a debate, but…MEDI-CAL was being used for surrogacy related medical care??? I thought one of the stipulations of being a qualified surrogate was that one was NOT on state or federal assistance!!??

        • jad

          either eway, a trust account was there for medical bills and surrogenesis refused to pay the hospital for the medical bills, that is why i have posted anon. No need to question me or debate with me. Lot of people hav ebeen hurt so keep your personal feelings and your defensive attitute towards surrogenesis to yourself.

          • anon

            LOL!! Keep my defensive “attitute” about surrogenesis to myself??

            Yeah, no. I don’t think so. Insurance fruad at the foot of the tax payers adds insult to injury. You’ve got your babies, you haven’t lost your money by having to pay legit hospital bills from trust fund money instead of forcing tax payers to cover it for you. How about if YOU just count your blessings and lucky stars?

          • j

            in the case anyone has trouble following what has been mentioned. Money was put towards hospital bills in a trust account for the purpose of medical bills. The hospital had tried to access it and Surrogenesis refused to pay it. Simply stating facts that Surrogenesis is untrustworthy, and if anyone questions that, remember that the CEO cant be found is having an extramarital affair and cheating on her husband, and has done the dirty on everyone. Yep thats what I call genuine and trustworthy.

          • IT’S ABOUT TIME

            “Anon”…you are missing the point “JAD” is trying to make. JAD is talking about hisher babies, not the surrogate, being covered by Medi-cal. A surrogate’s medical insurance is never used to cover the babies medical bills after they are born. They are placed on their parents medical insurance from the moment they are born. What JAD is saying is that he/she was an international client that was told medi-cal would cover his/her babies in the hospital after their birth. You should slow down, take a breath and not be so quick to attack other people that are victims as well. JAD may have been successful in his/her venture, but still got stuck with medical bills that he/she was told would be covered by another source. I’m sure that being an international client, JAD is not familiar with Medi-cal. Cut “JAD” some slack here!

    • TrishD

      I’m not sure exactly what’s going on here. It seems like half the company may be guilty but half may not. Are you guys sure everyone knew exactly what’s going on?

      I’m Gabrielle’s new surrogate, unfortunately our first transfer was cancelled due to problems with the egg donor. I know we had one issue with a Michael Charles check that the company bounced. As soon as I notified Deborah and Gabrielle, Gabrielle made sure that the money was deposited into my account immediately. They both seemed purplexed by what had happened.
      I’ve been in contact with Deborah today at her request. She wanted to tell me first hand what was going on and did not try to talk me into remaining with the company at all. More so, she wanted to keep me informed and then I could ultimately let her know which way I was going to go. I emailed Gabrielle tonight to see what info she had for me.
      Please anyone who has anymore info, let me know.

    • michelle

      heather,
      tonya and ann were lovers? isnt tonya married? do u still speak to andrea?

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  • John

    FYI There are several addresses associated with SurroGenesis and Michael Charles in Modesto. Their home address: 1214 Snow Ridge Court appears to be vacant although a red Ford Ranger pickup truck is still in the driveway. The address listed on their website 3430 Tully Road #20 is a Postal Express mailbox store front where they must have had a PO Box rented. Another address associated to them is 530 Coffee Road which is a high rise retirement home for the elderly; probably a relative lives there? 3524 Oakdale Road Suite A&B is where their offices were. That location was recently vacated. You can still see remnants of a quick exit. There is a ‘For Lease’ sign in the window now.

    • Heather

      Their Current address in Modesto is 1313 Schulenberg Ave Modesto, CA 95350. After their quick exit from the address on Oakdale (no doubt because Tonya did not pay the rent) they set up location in Tonya’s old house. Thats right the Schulenburg address is her house. Well it was her house before she packed up and moved to Texas..

    • Virginia

      I went to another one of the alleged addresses yesterday in Palo Alto and only to find a hole in the wall mailbox place. very small mom and pop shop one. I spoke to the woman who owned it, she even told me how shady they were. It’s all a big facade…..

  • Virginia

    and those “missing pages” on the surrogenesis web site…you can get to them thru the back door…you can see photos of Tonya, her girlfriend Ann…and Jack Kiserow which don’t forget, is the listed co-owner of Michael Charles.

    http://www.surrogenesis.com/html/locations.html

    and

    http://www.surrogenesis.com/html/about_us.html

    and

    http://www.surrogenesis.com/html/nevada.html

  • Rhonda

    I just finished a third unsuccessful round of IVF as a Surrogenesis surrogate and for the first time, I am able to say, thank god I didn’t get pregnant.

    After the 2nd failed IVF, the intended mother started to worry that perhaps the fertility clinic that we were sent to (by Surrogenesis) was somehow also involved. I’m a mother of 5, three of them are 5 and under, although I’m not an “experienced” surrogate, the doctors kept saying everything was great with me….but now, inlight of all this fraud and dishonesty…how can we trust even the doctors that treated me???

    • Heather

      Rhonda,

      What fertility clinic were you using?

      Heather

      • Rhonda

        Laurel Fertility, in San Francisco.

        • Heather

          Rhonda,

          I really dont think that Laurel had anything to do with whats going on with SurroGenesis… Laurel is a good fertility clinic, and they are used by several other surrogate agencies, including the agency i am currently with.

          I understand where you are coming from, but the fraud and dishonesty is with SurroGenesis, not the fertility clinic.

          • Rhonda

            Thank you so much Heather. I was disappointed to see the recently released success rates and found Laurel to be well below the national average, but it is good to know that at least they are still reputable. In all this confusion, we’ve begun to question every single step in this process, you know? The financial fraud is horrific enough…and I truly hope that is where it ends.

        • jad

          Hi there. I was an IP for Surrogenesis, Although I can not say anything positive about the agency, I must mention that my twin babies were conceived at first attempt with Laurel fertility under the care of Dr Smikle back in May 2008. The Clinic were nothing short but genuine and professional and understand they too stopped working with Surrogenesis approx over 6 months ago.

          • Rhonda

            No they didn’t. I just had a transfer in January.

            Not that it matters, but Laurel was still working with SG clients (the egg donor, the surrogate and the IPs were all through SG) as late as Jan. ’09. Just wanted to clear that up.

            We unfortunately did not have the pleasure of working with Dr. Smikle, I’ve heard nothing but wonderful things about him. He was actually assisting with our third attempt, but he was not the primary doctor working on our case.

            Nonetheless, I just want to thank everyone for your kind reassurances regarding Laurel. It was fear, doubt and distrust of SG that led me to pose the question. I think those fears regarding the clinic have subsided.

        • Hi Rhonda, I just wanted to let you know that I have 10 years experience with Laurel Center…they are above board and every one of my clients did get pregant through them when they transferred 2 embryos. Also, they have 75% success rates with single embryo transfers for my surrogate/donor cycles, so hang in there…

        • IT’S ABOUT TIME

          It too conceived twins through Laurel Fertility. They are absolutely wonderful and very professional. I’m certain your misfortune has nothing to do with the clinic…maybe embryo quality?

    • virginia

      Rhonda

      I ironically went to that clinic the other day to have 3 day labs done because I was in SF for work, I happened to tell them my story and they were horrified. They told me their own horror stories of Tonya and that not long ago, she listed their office address as her “San francisco office for Surrogenesis” and the doctor there stumbled across it and had her take it off her site. He gave other shady examples of her practices and their practice won’t do any business with surrogenesis.

    • Jad

      Hi Rhonda. I was an IP via Surrogenesis. Although, yes they are shady and I had many problems with them. the best thing was they advised me to go through Laurel Fertility in San Francisco in July 2008. We transferred 2 embryos and we conceived twins at first attempt. We are from abroad and to Dr Smikle and his team, we take our hats of to you all.

      thanks Jad

  • Heather:

    You can reach Sterling Johnson at 415.457.1214 or via email at sterlingjo@earthlink.net.

    Who is your attorney? Perhaps I can nudge them to return your call.

    Andy

    • Heather

      Thank you Andy, i will contact him, and see if i can be of any help. My lawyers name is Tamara Daney, she is out of Oakland, Ca. She was the lawyer that i got when i was matched with my 2nd set of Ip’s… Im going to call her office on Monday and see what i can do about getting my mills taken care of…

      Heather

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  • Bridgette

    Just trying to make sense of it all. Heather how long were you with employed by them, must of been a long time for you to have all this information. Why did you leave their employ?

  • http://www.surromomsonline.com/support/showthread.php?t=41752

    If you see there, it’s a Tonya Collins talking about B Comings, a “Friend of hers is using them”. Is there a connection between Tonya and the defunct company mentioned here?

  • Michelle

    Does anyone know if there are other employees from Surrogenesis involved with this Scam? My husband and I keep getting emails from our (Previous) coordinator and VP from Surrogenesis stating “They (Surrogenesis) has contacted the proper authorities and They (Surrogenesis) are doing everything possible for their clients regarding this investigation”. My husband and I have already gone through 3 cycles, which all failed and was about to go through another one with a new Surrogate before all this happened. We have lost over 29,000.00 from Michael Charles Group. Who can we Trust?

    • broke

      were out closer to $50k – all our savings…

  • Interesting

    SG is out of business. Who contacted you? What was the e-mail address?

    • Michelle

      We have received emails from Deborah Haworth and Gabrielle Conway. I think our last email was approx. less than 1 week ago. Sounds like they were just trying to stall. We have been keeping in contact with Sterling Johnson and have been advised not to respond to them, which we havn’t

    • WILEY

      How are you sure they are out of business? Web site was up (with pages removed) last time I checked and phone numbers worked?

      • Interesting

        The horse’s mouth.

  • Interesting

    Yep, don’t trust either one of them. They were fully aware of everything going on as they closed. They are out of business, period.

  • Lynn

    I was in the process of becoming a surrogate. I actually just got out of the hospital and learned of all of this. The birth control and lupron shots they gave me caused Blood clots in my lungs. I was in the hospital in ICU for a couple of weeks. I almost died. I still haven’t gotten paid from previous Dr’s appts and time taken away from work. But what saddens me most is that my IP and I became really close. I feel absolutely horrible for her. I believe all things happen for a reason and I think me getting sick before the transfer was a HUGE sign. I cannot believe there are such horrible people is this world.

  • Alison

    Heather, I’d really like to talk to you. I don’t have an email address for you at this time, or else I’d contact you directly. You can email me at intendedparents@yahoo.com.

    Also, as a former client of SurroGenesis, I must say that I was initially shocked. However, looking back…not so much. I’m devistated for all of the people that have been affected by this horrible scam. She can’t run forever.

  • undisclosed

    i am a surrogate for surrogenesis and i have unpaid bills and doctor’s bills that were not paid. i am still in contract with my ip’s and my question is the contract still valid?

    • undisclosed

      yes, the contract between you and your ip’s should still good. you need to get with your lawyer asap (that helped you with your contract/agreement)

    • While the Agreement may be valid, there will provisions which are now meaningless. In particular, the sections in the Contract that deal with the administration of the trust account. Additionally, without reviewing the Contract, there may also be obligations that are the responsibility of SurroGenesis (i.e. payment of insurance premiums).

      Given this, it is essential you have a Reproductive Attorney review the Agreement to assess its ongoing validity. At a bare minimum, it will be necessary to amend the Contract via an Addendum to address these and several other issues. Depending upon how intertwined the obligations are of SurroGenesis and Michael Clark Company, it may be prudent to enter into an entirely new contract.

      I cannot stress enough how vital it is that you seek the advice of an independent attorney to review not only the status of your Contract, but what remedies you might have available.

  • undisclosed

    my ip’s were really close to tonya and she doesn’t want to believe it. my close friend is 14 weeks pregnant and her ip’s live in spain and thier money is gone. my friend has not got paid for missing appoinments and her monthly payments,she is upset and now she is stuck with the baby. her ip’s want her to have the baby in spain. i feel very bad.

    • punktlich

      Your friend should be very careful. The legal implications of surrogate parenthood in Spain are serious: “While some countries, like the U.S.A., accept surrogate pregnancy among permitted techniques of assisted reproduction, Spanish law considers it illegal. That is why a certificate issued in the U.S.A. establishing the parenthood of a baby born in this country to a surrogate mother would not be registered in Spain; accordingly the baby would not have Spanish nationality; and consequently, he would need a visa to come to Spain.” http://www.mother-surrogate.com/en//?p=surrogacy_spain
      There’s quite a bit on the subject online, most of it in Spanish. California law, on the other hand, is tried and tested and more likely to protect your friend’s interests. In addition, the civil and criminal aspects of the fraud will clearly be covered by US and not less predictable Spanish law.

  • Anony

    Its funny because Deborah from Surrogenesis is continuing to email saying she’s working on getting the funds. Totally lying as if she didn’t know what was going on. How can these people not have any value or morals? Karma is an amazing thing. How could they play with peoples emotions and families like that? How can they sleep at night?

  • texas

    does anyone know Tonya’s tx address??

    List all known addresses!!

  • Tonya Collins?

    What other names does she go by? what does her middle the initial “A” stand for?

    Is James her husband? what is his middle name?

    • undisclosed

      why are you even replying here tonya? i see your name tonya collins.

  • Another victim

    According to ussearch.com, the following names are attached to Tonya Collins:

    Tonya A Collins
    Tonya Ann Collins
    Tanya A Collins
    Tony Pruett
    Tonya A Pruett
    Tonya A Pruetttorres
    A Collins Tonya
    A T Tonya
    A Torres Tonya
    Tanya Torres
    Tony A Torres
    Tonya A Torres
    Tonya Pruett Torres

    According to her myspace profile (search on SurroGenesis myspace and you’ll find that she is listed as a “friend”), she is in Grapevine, TX but that could be a lie as well. She supposedly logged in today as well.

    • joh doe 45

      looks like she “took it down”

      looks like she has a facebook profile.

      (she the one w some friends in Modesto CA???)

  • undisclosed

    all i know is that deborah and tonya are very close friends. andrea and tonya are sisters. kelly once got fired and tonya rehired her back, that’s what andrea told me. since i was working with surrogenesis i have been matched 5 times and had so many different cordinators. there has been so many times that i had to wait months and months to get reimburst from missing work,paying for medical records and paying for things out of my pocket. my insurance got terminated and they are behind 4 months. they keep telling me lies and excuses.. blah,blah,blah!! tonya,deborah,ann and gabrielle became surrogates and i bet they never once got thier payment late. i hope they get busted, that is not right for them to steal from hard working people that saved thier life savings. all i know is that my ip has not emailed,or callme, she is very good friends with tonya. at this point i dont know where i stand.

    • Heather

      Kelly is Deborah’s sister

  • undisclosed

    why is tonya collins even replying on here? your’e guilty ?

  • IT’S ABOUT TIME

    For the record…Gabrielle was never a surrogate. Tonya was Gabrielle’s surrogate several years ago, which unfortunately did not result in a live birth.

    I highly doubt that the person posting to this blog is in fact Tonya Collins. Just some sick, twisted person that for some reason wishes to portray her.

    Tonya’s full name is Tonya Ann Collins. She was married one time prior to her current marriage and at that time her last name was Torres. Her maiden name is Pruett.

    Tonya and Andrea are half sisters and Andrea is in no way, shape or form anything like Tonya. Andrea also had ZERO involvement in Tonya’s scam.

    • Heather

      I have to Agree Andrea is NOTHING Like Tonya, Andrea and Tonya share the same Father, but that’s about it.

  • TrishD

    I’m not sure exactly what’s going on here. It seems like half the company may be guilty but half may not. Are you guys sure everyone knew exactly what’s going on?

    I’m Gabrielle’s new surrogate, unfortunately our first transfer was cancelled due to problems with the egg donor. I know we had one issue with a Michael Charles check that the company bounced. As soon as I notified Deborah and Gabrielle, Gabrielle made sure that the money was deposited into my account immediately. They both seemed purplexed by what had happened.
    I’ve been in contact with Deborah today at her request. She wanted to tell me first hand what was going on and did not try to talk me into remaining with the company at all. More so, she wanted to keep me informed and then I could ultimately let her know which way I was going to go. I emailed Gabrielle tonight to see what info she had for me.
    Please anyone who has anymore info, let me know.

    • Heather

      Just a question… are you in breech of contract for announcing who you are? I know i had a confidentially agreement in my contract and i could not talk about who i was doing a surrogacy for… Not trying to attack you, just asking a question…

      And to answer your question, no were not sure if everyone in the company knew what was going on. We can all speculate, and logically think about it and say yes. The simple fact is we don’t know 100%.

      My advice to you is to not continue with SurroGenesis. However that’s only my opinion, and ultimately its your decision rather you decide to continue or not. If you choose to continue i hope it works out well for you, and you don’t end up screwed like myself and some of the surrogates i know…

    • undisclosed

      your lucky gabrielle is your ip’s. you will always have your money,no doubt. it’s not fair for the other ip’ and thier surrogates to get stuck with bills and stuff. i’m prabably sure deborah&gabrielle are telling you to stay with them. i know i had to keep quiet about who i was matched with.deborah was not a good cordinator, my insurance was cancelled,they haven’t paid for months and they complained about paying me for lost wages and child care.

      • Rhonda

        While my life insurance was not paid, and my payments became later and ultimately bounced, I have to say that Deborah was a good coordinator for me, despite any misgivings I may now have about her involvement with Tonya. I had to call her at 2am upon arriving at a hotel due to some registration issues, and she used her own credit card as my security deposit on the room. Furthermore, not once did I get any grief for lost wages or my child care expenses…those were contractual items.

        By no means am I excusing what has happened, nor am I denying that others may have had different experiences with Deborah, I just wanted to share my experience.

        • Heather

          Hey Rhonda will you email me at seanspenguin@comcast.net? I have a question to ask you Thanks!!

          • Rhonda

            Heather, I sent you an email. You may need to check your spam box for it though.

          • Heather

            Rhonda, I did not get your email. I was just curious as to your last name. I think i know who you are, when Cynthia was training me, i submitted for a bunch of your reimbursements.

            I did not want to ask for your last name in a public forum!

          • Cynthia

            Heather it is not the same Rhonda and my cases that I trained you with are private. The people on here that have publicly acknowledged me on here as their case manager is fine but you will need to respect the privacy of my Intended Parents, surrogates and egg donors. They have been through enough pain and do not need their names brought up in a public forum. Andrew unfortunately because I did train Heather she has the names of some of my cases is there any way I can protect their anonymity.

          • Cynthia, please let me know if the identities of any of your former Intended Parents or Surrogates are posted on this site as I will immediately delete them. To the former SurroGenesis employees, I implore you to honor the privacy of the victims. They have suffered enough already and there is no justification for revealing their identities.

          • JUSTICE

            How do you justify who suffers. Are you an expert, have you taken a survey. Have you met any of the former SurroGenesis employees in person? What would lead you to believe that they have suffered enough? Lies…and deception is who and what these actions from these former employees. They have no conscious, no respect, no goodness in their hearts. They have to live with their evil ways and they will live miserably for what they did. Suffering, hah.. Have you met any of the intended parents in person and talked to them about suffering, or met the surrogates in person. When do you want to start and then you can comment on suffering. Forgive those who tresspass against us…I can forgive, but never forget.

  • Michelle

    Andrew, just wanted to thank you for your last comment regarding my comment about “our dreams being shattered”. It is nice to be reassured that not everyone in the industry is a “scam artist” and will commit fraud. I will definitely keep your resources in mind on our journey to having a baby. My husband and I will keep the faith….that someday we will have our dream. Thank you again for all your hard work keeping us posted.

  • TrishD

    Gabrielle advertised to all on her profile on the Surrogenesis website that she was in the process of trying for another baby, so I do not feel myself to be in breach. That and with the current situation at hand, I felt compelled to give a first hand opinion that is not rumor. In the context of what’s happening I need to share my opinion of this situation. I’m in no way behind Tonya Collins and what she did, the thought of doing that to someone without feeling any guilt just makes me sick. But there are people that are a part of that company that were doing their jobs for the right reasons, the same reason why all of us are surrogates. I’ve already been through this experience with Fertility Choice, Delia Regalado, took off with everyone’s money and to date has gotten away with it. I made a decision at that time to trust my IP and her me and it worked out wonderfully. It makes me sick to see how common this is becoming.
    To all the IPs that have lost money, my heart goes out to you. But don’t lose hope in what your goal is because not everyone is like Tonya.
    I just wanted to let you know first hand what I’ve seen and experienced with Gabrielle and Deborah because I’ve been reading a lot of “he said, she said”.
    You can’t condemn anyone until they’ve been convicted.
    As far as damage control, of course there will be people calling around to see who still wants to proceed and who doesn’t, this is normal, not an admission of guilt.

    • Bri

      Just a note to trishd… Delia has not gotten away with anything. She is currently in hiding and unable to live her life. We took her to court and are currently assisting a legal agency in making sure she’s charged for the all the money she stole and the families she hurt.

  • undisclosed

    to the former employer of surrogenesis,i think you are putting more fuel to the fire. i understand you had a rough time with surrogenesis,but to tell people what happen inside is just hurting more ip,surrogates ect. if you are at another agency you just keep quiet and move on forward. it may sound mean but you said enough and you are just putting ip’s,surrogates ect out in public.

  • Heather

    Cynthia, i understand where you are coming from, and i was not asking her to put her last name on a public forum. In everything i have said i have not once mentioned names of any surrogtes, or IP’s.

  • Jim Russell

    My name is Russell, and I was ripped off for about $25,000 by Tonya Collins and her gang at SurroGenesis. As late as mid-February of 2009, this liar was telling me she was going to send my money back and that she was still in business and could help me have a child. I am an older man with no children and the money that she cheated me out of now makes me unable to have a family; further, it is likely I will never have another chance because it takes this wage-earner so many years to save that kind of money. Her criminality is not just about money, it is about destroying dreams and savaging people’s lives. I have a file on Tonya-the-Ripper that is 3″ thick. If I can be of any assistance to anyone else in this case, let me know by writing POB 1482, Renton, Washington, 98057.

    • undisclosed

      Hi Russell, I beleive i was matched with you this last year. i was so mad because i was doing all my injections and when our transfer came up SurroGenesis told me that you had backen out. I was so mad i did all my meds,gain weight and suddenly nothing. They told me lies about you and i was crushed. now i am putting two and two together. it makes sence now. i am sorry about what happen to you,i got screwed too. i have unpaid bills from our cycle that Surrogenesis still owes.

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  • Rita

    We are a victim of SGUSA/Michael Charles fraud. We lost over $35,000. Please let us know if anyone knows anything about Gabriella Conway and her position wi MC/SGUSA.

    • From what we know, Ms. Conway was one of the shareholders of SurroGenesis along with Tonya Collins. She had no ownership interest in Michael Charles which was owned by Tonya Collins and Jack Kiserow.

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