Tonya Collins was no ingenue. To the contrary, from the moment she opened SurroGenesis USA, she was quite familiar with the ignominious past of other surrogate agencies who embezzled their clients’ funds. As early as 2006, Tonya Collins was telling prospective SGUSA clients that:
“…many agencies have gone under investigation for “stealing” client money through the trust system.”
With the hook cleverly baited, Collins would then reel these these potential clients in by advising them that:
“We do not hold our own escrows, we have an outside agency do that for our own protection and also our clients.”
The rest is history as Collins would then take these unsuspecting clients’ funds and deposit them into the Michael Charles Holding Company without ever revealing that she was the principal owner. This was not a situation where Collins got in over her head and negligently managed the trust funds. To the contrary, this was a preconceived scheme to rob credulous victims of their life savings. The reason I say this was preconceived is that when SGUSA began, they were using the services of the well-respected Allison McCloskey Escrow Company.
However, it was not long after they actively began representing Intended Parents that Michael Charles Holdings was created. Collins trumpeted the fact that:
“I want to keep the prices as low as possible so that more parents can afford to use an agency and aren’t out there being taken advantage of by surrogate mothers. I have a home office which helps to keep the costs down.”
Creating Michael Charles Holdings, with all the additional overhead that comes with managing a multi-million dollar trust account, was certainly incongruent with her mission statement. Unless she had an ulterior purpose all along.