Economic Crimes Arrest

Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office
Child Protection Investigation Unit
Investigative Operations Bureau
-Economic Crimes Unit

Director of Adoptions- Susan Deckrow for Thomas Fischgrund, P.A.

Gregory and Amaia Garbee (Victims)

Angelica M. Lopez (Arrested)
DOB: 01/22/1989
Address: 1979 Dix Street in Largo
Charges: One felony count of Adoption Deception

Detectives assigned to the Economic Crimes Unit have arrested a woman for adoption fraud.

The investigation began in April 19, 2019. The suspect was arrested on August 16, 2019.

The investigation was conducted in Pinellas County. The suspect was arrested at 1979 Dix Street in Largo.

Detectives assigned to the Economic Crimes Unit have arrested a woman for adoption fraud.

According to detectives, their investigation began in April 2019, when they were notified by 69-year-old Susan Deckrow, who was assisting with an adoption.

Detectives say 38-year-old Gregory and 41-year-old Amaia Gregory, were contacted by 69-year-old Susan Deckrow, Director of Adoptions at Thomas Fischgrund P.A. after their adoption profile was selected by Angelica Lopez.

On December 20, 2018, 30-year-old Angelica Lopez, who was pregnant and incarcerated at the Pinellas County Jail at the time, signed a pre-birth agreement for the adoption of child with the Garbee family. Gregory and Amaia Garbee signed and accepted the Acceptance of Adoption Agreement for Fees to adopt Lopez’s unborn child on December 27, 2018.

While in the jail, Lopez communicated with the Garbees through the jail email system and written letters. Lopez was released from incarceration on February 7, 2019 and continued communicating with the Garbees and Deckrow by phone and text messages. After Lopez’s release, the Garbees would meet Lopez weekly for lunch until the beginning of April. It was then the communication abruptly stopped with Lopez saying she was due soon and couldn’t eat.

On April 4, 2019, Lopez gave birth to her child. However, she continued to portray to the Garbees she was still pregnant. This included sending pictures on April 17, 2019 of her swollen feet and enlarged stomach that were taken much earlier to continue the ruse she was still pregnant. Lopez received three checks totaling $1,100 after she had given birth that she deposited in her bank account.

Meanwhile, the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office Child Protection Investigation Unit had opened an investigation regarding Lopez’s child. Details of these types of investigations are confidential. While investigating the case, Deckrow was contacted by an investigator and learned Lopez had given birth approximately two weeks prior. Deckrow advised had she not learned of the birth she would have continued dispersing funds from the Garbees to Lopez.

On August 16, 2019, detectives conducted an interview with Lopez and she admitted to signing the Pre-Birth Agreement while in jail. Lopez acknowledged receiving funds after the birth of her child and rescinding the adoption agreement, but not notifying the Garbees or Deckrow.

Lopez was arrested on one felony count of Adoption Deception and transported to the Pinellas County Jail without incident. The child has been placed with a caregiver by the Pinellas County Child Protection Investigation Unit.

This is the second arrest this week for felony adoption fraud. Both women were housed together at the same time at the Pinellas County jail and agreed to have their children adopted at the same time. However, there is no evidence that their decision to commit fraud was coordinated. See press release# 19-228 for related case.

The investigation continues.

Posted by Friday, August 16, 2019 5:37:00 PM Categories: Crimes Against Persons

Non Emergency Line: (727) 582-6200 | In an Emergency call 911ADA info