- A group of sovereign scam artists drove across the country to scam a family out of $5,000 during the stay at home order
- Francesca Amato and Robert Slaven traveled across the country falsely promising a mother they could get her child returned from state custody
- After traveling from New York to California, Amato and Slaven turned in a sovereign affidavit they push on parents but the mother’s child was not returned
The majority of the country continues to obey lockdown orders in hopes of trying to stop the spread of COVID-19. Unfortunately, scam artists from all over are using the outbreak to their advantage. On Tuesday, discuss received information that sovereign scam artist Francesca Amato recently scammed a woman in California out of thousands of dollars during the global pandemic.
Amato is part of a group of scam artists that prey on desperate families across the country with open Child Protective Services cases. The group promises parents they can get their children home through the use of nonsensical sovereign citizen legal beliefs and paperwork. As of now, Amato or her colleagues have yet to provide any court documents showing evidence their sovereign legal strategies work and have returned a child from state custody.
On Tuesday, discuss received an email from a concerned family in Brazil. The source claimed they recently gave their daughter $5,000 to pay Amato for her to help with her CPS case in California. According to the email, the daughter has lived in California for four years and had her newborn taken into the custody of the Department of Children and Family Services. Details of the mother’s case were not readily available at this time.
According to our source, Amato and her boyfriend Robert Slaven charged the woman $5,000 for hotel and travel costs for her to come from New York to California to provide her services. Amato allegedly requested an additional $3,000 for further help. Social media posts from the woman, Amato, and Slaven confirm the trip occurred. It should also be noted that Amato and Slaven took this trip while the country has a COVID-19 stay at home order. Amato lives in New York, the current epicenter of America’s outbreak, and the woman lives in California, which is another known hotspot. Despite the risks of spreading SARS-CoV-2, Amato and Slaven decided a trip to scam a woman was an essential service.
On March 30, Slaven made a lengthy post about his and Amato’s trip to California. On April 1, the woman shared Slaven’s post and confirmed it was her that he was talking about. “My dear friends this post is about me and what’s happening now in my life and my little baby,” the desperate woman wrote.
In the post, Slaven states that he and Amato “drove all the way to California for an emergency hearing.” Making their scam that much more disturbing, Slaven goes into detail about how he listened to the mother’s concerns over a decision to move her daughter during the current COVID-19 pandemic. Slaven goes on to say he and Amato made the “final decision to get an affidavit going.”
With the help of fellow sovereign scammer, David Jose Watson, a nonsensical affidavit was apparently filed on the woman’s behalf. For over a year, Amato, Slaven, and Watson have pushed the use of an affidavit on families with children in state care. The three scammers have yet to provide any court documents showing these affidavits had a positive result on a CPS case. The group goes to great lengths to avoid showing evidence and will encourage followers to block anybody that questions their failed tactics. This is known as an isolation strategy commonly used in cult settings when the leader is concerned a follower could be taken from them should they see factual evidence.
Ironically, Slaven addresses the very stay at home order he and Amato violated to execute their scam. It is not clear if Amato or Slaven are following the protocol of self-quarantining for 14 days after traveling from a known COVID-19 hotspot. Amato also posted images to her personal Facebook during the trip showing what areas they went through while traveling from a COVID-19 epicenter to a hotspot and back.
While on the road to scam at least one family out of thousands of dollars, Amato continued to hunt for new victims by posting links to her “consultations.” Amato is not licensed to give legal advice to anything related to family courts. Discuss has been told the consultation comes at a $50 fee. It is during these consultations the victim is offered the opportunity for Amato to “court watch” or travel to them for a fee that can be as high as $5,000.
With no surprise, the affidavit did not work. Watson has claimed the affidavit is the first part of a multiple affidavit process. The fictitious claim is echoed by both Amato and Slaven. According to them, they are putting officials “on notice” when they turn in their sovereign documents and get no response. In reality, they do not receive a response because these legal documents are nothing more than word salad and mean nothing in a court of law. The legal definition of an affidavit is a “statement of facts which is sworn to (or affirmed) before an officer who has authority to administer an oath.” In other words, it is a written testimony, the same as speaking under oath. Without a proper motion, an affidavit holds no legal power to demand the return of a child to their parents or anything for that matter.
While Amato has repeatedly refused to give myself and others comment on her consultations, she does appear to have responded to a post made on my personal Facebook account related to the emails received. On Tuesday, Amato made a post that read, “So there is a certain FAKE journalist from Kansas going after the families I help, claiming I’ve never gotten a child home & that I’m a fraud..so let the people speak.” Oddly enough, nobody commented that Amato had gotten their child home. Up to this point, aside from claims lacking any paperwork or evidence, Amato, Slaven, and Watson have yet to provide any evidence their legal practices have returned a child home. Amato also did not address or deny charging this mother $5,000 for services that yielded no results. Amato goes on to make a bizarre claim with no evidence that I have “child trafficking connections.”
When one person commented suggesting to post evidence, both Amato and Watson chimed in with different responses. Amato made it sound as if I needed to provide evidence of getting children home, which is confusing since I do not claim to be a family law advocate. Watson gave an even more peculiar response about providing evidence. Watson responded, “how will posting paper work prove it won when they just give the kids back and make out a fake reason for why they gave them back?” Watson’s comment makes no sense, but it does further validate that neither he or Amato can provide evidence their affidavits return children to their parents.
Shortly after, Amato made another post directed towards me. In this post, she shared a video from 2018 uploaded by Joann Mae Spottedbear. Amato claimed I “attacked” Spottedbear and her family. In reality, Spottedbear began harassing me after I reported on her son raping an underage girl in Arizona. Jared Spottedbear, 23, admitted to police he had vaginally penetrated an underage female when she said no. Spottedbear began harassing myself, the courts, and the underage victim. At one point Spottedbear was told by law enforcement to remove posts about her son’s underage victim.
Despite her son’s confession, Spottedbear claimed the arrest was a conspiracy against her. She went as far as to file a frivolous lawsuit that was dismissed in September of last year. Jail records show Jared was convicted in August of a lesser charge of statutory sex seduction by person under 21, likely because it was claimed he did not know she was a minor. Jared met his victim on Tinder, which asks for those signing up to be 18 or older. Amato either did not realize she is helping defend a convicted rapist or did not spend the time to see who she was choosing to defend.
For years now this group has made cases with broken CPS agencies around the country their hunting grounds for desperate parents. Many parents that enter these cases were in need of services but instead had their child taken. This can be extremely stressful and cause desperation for the parents. Finding legal help for CPS cases is not cheap or easy, so when these social media scam artists offer parents an easy alternative they often jump at the opportunity. Unfortunately, as long as there remain these issues within CPS, there will always be a scammer willing to take advantage of the situation.