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Morning SurroGenesis Update

Much has happened over the past 12 hours and I will try to summarize the most salient details below. I also hope to have a more comprehensive post up later today, however with the amount of consultations we are having with victims of this scandal, it may not be up until early this evening. I will try to respond to all emails and comments throughout the day though as well as be available to answer any questions you may have telephonically. Further, we will be posting regular updates via Twitter throughout the day in lieu of full posts and you can subscribe via this link.

In no particular order:

  • I have confirmed that that Tonya Collins, CEO of SurroGenesis and purported owner of Michael Charles Financial, moved to Texas. The best information we have is that she relocated the Michael Charles Financial Company to Grapevine, Texas as well. Matthew Penny, an attorney with the Texas law firm of Cokinos, Bosien & Young has been engaged to identify potential assets that might be available as well as to pursue any legal remedies that might exist in Texas. Mr. Penny can be reached at 713.535.5535.
  • The list of victims has expanded to more than 60 families with losses in excess of $2,000,000.00 and rising.
  • While some believed our recommendation yesterday to consider closing any bank account was alarmist, we have confirmed at least one recent incident where the Michael Collins Company attempted to withdraw money from a surrogate’s bank account. Fortunately, the surrogate had taken precautions and the money was not withdrawn. While the chances of this happening again may be remote, it nevertheless is a sensible step to take given the magnitude of the fraud that has taken place and the fact that Ms. Collins is not in custody.
  • SurroGenesis had several incarnations of their website. While providing very little fresh information, you can view their other websites at: http://www.otheroom.com/archive/surrogenesis/about.html and http://www.getsurro.com/
  • Shannon of Surrogate Moms Online has been doing invaluable work in collecting information from the surrogate community to assist in the investigation of the SurroGenesis scandal. If you are a surrogate that was victimized in this scandal, I strongly encourage you to visit Shannon’s site for more information on how to protect yourself.
  • Shannon passed a long this interesting tidbit of information that suggests that Tonya Collins might have been using several aliases.
  • I have been informed that the Michael Charles Company had a fidelity bond policy. Unfortunately, the policy limit was only $100,000. It is also typical for these policies to have an Arrest and Conviction Clause which means there can be no payout until a conviction has been secured. Sadly, given the amount of losses, it does not appear that this policy will even come close to reimbursing the victims of this fraud.
  • I have been unable to confirm whether SurroGenesis and/or Michael Charles Company had any kind of Error & Omission coverage or a Comprehensive General Liability Policy. While these policies could have higher limits, they also generally do not cover criminal acts.
  • Several former employees and surrogates of SurroGenesis have shared some information in the Comment section of this Blog. While I cannot substantiate their accounts, I have no reason to doubt them. I encourage you to pass their information along to your attorney.
  • Shannon also passed along this story on Jack Kiserow, a Director of SurroGenesis. Kiserow, as you may recall, listed himself as the owner of Michael Charles Financial on his LinkedIn account.
  • Again, I hope to have a more substantive post up later today. However, you can monitor what is taking place during the day by subscribing to this Blog here. Also, in case it was lost in all the noise that has been generated by this story, our firm continues to offer its services on a pro bono basis for anyone that has been victimized and suffering from financial hardship. Please do not hesitate to contact us with any questions you may have.


    11 comments for “Morning SurroGenesis Update”

    • Nicole

      I am a surrogate with surrogenesis and the intended parents I am working with live in germany and know nothing about this untill I just informed them this morning.When we were in contracts I stated I didn’t want to work with Micheal Charels as the escrow account and was told by a surrogenesis employee I had to.
      I am shore like a lot of you I have not been paid and am now without medical insurrance and it is effection so much of my life.

      • Andrea the SGUSA (past employee-thank god!)

        Hi Nicole,

        I was very relieved when you rejected to work with the UNKOWN company, but as you know it is not easy to switch funds and convince Tonya to allow it! I wish that I could have done something for you. I understand that a lot of the SG surrogates are having insurance issues. This is due to the lack of payment. NICE. I wish the best for you and the clients! You and the clients are wonderful. I wish there was something that I could have done to prevent this! It is hard when you are locked on by chains and shackles…

        • TBD

          Hi Andrea,
          I had been trying to e-mail you for the past 2 weeks or so and Ann Robinson started taking over your e-mails, she NEVER answered my multiple questions as to where you were or would return, why the phone was not in working order, and most importantly if the people you matched me with received their requested additional photos. I drove to the “modesto” location on wedsday and thats when I realised something was very wrong. I went home and found this website. My heart goes out to all the victims involved. This has taken a major emotional toll on myself TRYING to become an egg donor. I’m feel sorry for my “possible match” because I was hoping to make their dream of having a child become a reality.

    • Nicole,

      Have they canceled your insurance? There is typically a grace period prior to cancellation. You should contact your insurer immediately and see if you can have the policy reinstated. Let us know if we can be of help.

      • Nicole

        They have already cancelled the insurance that is how I found out and I called the insurance company and they stated since I was put on as an employee the company would be the only one who could reinstate the policy.

    • Andrea the SGUSA (past employee-thank god!)

      TBD- You can email on my personal email if you would like. andreapruett@ymail.com.

      Thank You,


    • sarah jones

      I was trying to get into contact with Andrew Vorzimer. I sent you some bond insurance info and I am not sure if you recvd it and that is why you posted the information about the bond on the website. But it is different then what I was being told. I think we need to talk. Thanks Sarah

    • Angela Wilson

      What are IPs doing at this point? Should we contact a local attorney, Mr. Vorzimer, or someone else? Any guidance would be helpful. Thanks!

      • Hi Angela,

        I would suggest you contact either Ted Penny, Esq. or Wayne Beaudoin, Esq. at 818.788.8300 to discuss what your legal rights are. Alternatively, feel free to call me at 818.385.0950 and I would be happy to discuss with you what options exist.


    • James Russell

      I complained to Surrogate Mothers Online about the grossly unprofessional conduct of Tonya Collins and SurroGenesis two year ago. At that time SurroGenesis was a pominent advertiser with Surrogate Mothers Online. My complaint received no attention from them at all. While Surrogate Mothers Online appears to act righteously now, their past response showed irresponsibility. I also wrote a complaint to Dr. Lori Arnold about her dealings with Tonya Collins and SurroGenesis, but this Doctor did not make any effort to take responsiblity either. Keep that in mind when dealing with these two entities. Jim

    • Patrick Johnson

      Well I looked at Tonya’s Myspace today Sept 16th 2010 and about thru up. She is now some holly good Christian. Here is the link…..http://www.myspace.com/stompedonprincess

      I hope Jesus takes the correct actions and puts her but in jail for very long so she can not she her kids grow up. Patrick

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