Wednesday, November 26, 2008


It looks like the Claar Foundation director is in the news again. She is being charged with another count of fraud. I like it when adoption agencies go down. It means that adoptive parents are calling for more regulation of the adoption industry. When the adoptive parents are screaming for transparency, the more we adoptees just might get our rights to our original birth certificate.

Here is the story and the link.

Ex-trustee faces new charge

BOULDER — Prosecutors on Tuesday added a 10th charge in the case against a former Erie trustee accused of stealing thousands from clients who hired her adoption agency to arrange for international adoptions.

Boulder District Judge Maria Berkenkotter allowed the new charge against Lisa Novak, who ran the Claar Foundation adoption agency with her husband, at a pretrial hearing Tuesday afternoon.

The trial is set to begin Monday in Boulder District Court and, according to attorneys, will include 27 prosecution witnesses and at least 10 defense witnesses. Novak may also choose to testify in her own defense in the jury trial scheduled to last 12 days.

Counting the new charge, Novak is facing seven felony theft charges, one felony fraud by check charge and one misdemeanor theft charge, all related to the adoption business.

Novak was arrested in March after a couple told police they paid the Claar Foundation $25,000 in December to adopt a girl from Guatemala. When the couple learned the foundation was closing, they asked for their money back and for their files, but received neither, according to police.

The couple also learned that the foundation bounced a $12,500 check written to a Guatemalan adoption agency when that couple adopted a boy there, police said. Because that check bounced, the couple was not allowed to adopt the girl they wanted, according to police.

Other people made similar claims after the first case was publicized.

Lance Goff, Novak’s attorney, also sought the judge’s permission to file motions in the case under seal.

“The press has taken a keen interest in the case, and we are concerned about Ms. Novak’s right to get a fair trial,” he said.

Berkenkotter rejected Goff’s request. She also told Langer and Foote that they may talk about a lawsuit debt that the Claar Foundation was obligated to repay to Novak’s brother. Prosecutors believe adoption fees were used to pay down the debt.

“These people paid fees for adoptions. The money went to pay debt dating back years,” Langer told the judge. “That information they weren’t given.”

Novak served on as an Erie trustee from October 2003, when she was appointed, until January 2005.

Pierrette J. Shields can be reached at 303-684-5273 or

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Novak is a slim bucket and deserves this and more.
Did you ever get a copy of her mug shot when she was arrested for fraud? It is priceless.
should start a page with the mug shots of adoption agency criminals.