Nanny's adoption scam shocks Pa. mother

Donna Crowe

March 21, 2011 3:15:12 PM PDT
It is a very unusual case and one mother hopes it serves as a warning to other parents.

That mother, Michelle, agreed to speak with us if we protect her identity.

"I was hysterical. I called 911 immediately, I was hysterically crying, I did not know what to do and I was very scared for my family," Michelle said.

She says her family's identity has already been stolen by a nanny they trusted.

26-year-old Donna Crowe was a Villanova Law student and came highly recommended.

But, the police say she used Michelle's family to scam adoptive parents.

They say she posted 500 pictures from their computer on adoption websites.

"She posted outside pictures of our home, inside pictures of our home, our daughter's nursery, our daughter's sleep toy, pictures of her kissing our daughter," Michelle said.

An arrest warrant says Crowe claimed that Michelle's 7-month-old daughter was her daughter and that she had given her up for adoption by Michelle and her husband.

The warrant says she made up a fictitious name for the family when she posted their pictures.

Police say she also falsely claimed she had another baby on the way and was offering it up for adoption.

When the alleged scam came to light, Michelle was devastated.

"This isn't like stealing money, this is stealing something more valuable; this is a piece of my family that we're never going to get back," Michelle said.

Michelle later discovered that Crowe had been arrested for the same scam before, but managed to get the charges reduced.

So, there was no criminal record to be found on a background check.

Crowe had been using different names on numerous websites where warnings have now gone up.

One warning says, "Beware. She is very articulate and convincing."

"What I'm doing now is for every other parent, it's getting something on her record, so if she does decide to be a nanny again, it will show up and other parents will be aware," Michelle said.

It turns out, Crowe was not trying to scam money out of adoptive couples; she was apparently just seeking friendships.

Crowe is free on bail, but the court has ordered a psychological evaluation before her next court appearance which is scheduled for next week