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Steuben County District Attorney indicts woman after attempted kidnapping plot

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Thirty counts for a fraudulent surrogacy scheme over two infants

In Steuben County, New York, an Elma woman, MaryBeth H. Lewis, 66, has been indicted in connection with an alleged attempted kidnapping using fraudulent documents to gain custody of two surrogate infants.

According to the Steuben County District Attorney’s Office, Lewis appeared before the Honorable Chauncey J. Watches in Steuben County Court following an arrest warrant. The warrant was issued in connection with a 30-count sealed indictment that was presented on November 29 by a Steuben County Jury.

The indictment accuses Lewis of submitting false documents and producing fake evidence in an unlawful attempt to take custody of two infants born as part of a fraudulent surrogacy agreement in Steuben County. The charges brought against her include:

1. Attempted Kidnapping in the second degree (two counts), a class C violent felony.

2. Forgery in the second degree (six counts), a class D felony.

3. Tampering with Physical Evidence (five counts), a class E felony.

4. Falsifying Business Records in the first degree (four counts), a class E felony.

5. Offering a False Instrument for Filing in the first degree (three counts), a class E felony.

6. Tampering with Public Records in the first degree (three counts), a class D felony.

7. Attempted Tampering with Public Records in the first degree (one count), a class E felony.

8. Perjury in the second degree (four counts), a class E felony.

9. Criminal Impersonation in the first degree, a class E felony.

10. Identity Theft in the first degree, a class D felony.

During her court appearance, Lewis entered pleas of not guilty to all counts and was released with instructions to return on February 7, 2024. Additionally, complete stay-away orders of protection have been issued against Lewis in favor of the two infants involved.

The investigation into this incident was conducted by the New York State Police Bureau of Criminal Investigation based out of the Bath Barracks.

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