Two Jacksonville women who were federally indicted for an adoption fraud scheme were recently extradited to Utah.
Federal investigators said Stephanie Fassnacht and Helen Nickulas promised hopeful adoptive families children who never existed.
The complaint said the suspects scammed two Utah couples out of more than $100,000.
Fassnacht and Nickulas are facing several federal charges for wire fraud and tampering with a witness, victim or informant.
In May 2017, the FBI opened a wire fraud investigation after the victims came forward, according to federal documents.
The victims told investigators the suspects created a fake adoption agreement to obtain money and physical goods.
The report said Fassnacht claimed she was pregnant with twins and would allow the couple to adopt the children if they provided monies and goods during the pregnancy. @ActionNewsJax pic.twitter.com/5Pg8ertLe6— Christy Turner (@ChristyANJax) September 28, 2018
According to investigators, Fassnacht told one couple she was pregnant with twins and she was willing to allow them to adopt the children if they provided monies and goods during the pregnancy.
Investigators said Fassnach was never pregnant.
The 14-page complaint includes an email that investigators said Nickulas sent to Fassnacht on March 20, 2017, that warned her about the trouble she could face.
The email read in part “I feel it’s going to be nasty for you. I am praying it won’t be. I hope once they find out there is no twin girls they will not bring extortion charges against you.”
In July, the FBI along with the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office and the Florida Department of Probation executed a search warrant at the suspects’ home.
The complaint said that, after learning they were under investigation, the suspects sent intimidating voicemails to the victims.