HARRIS COUNTY, Texas – A 35-year-old woman is accused of bilking thousands of dollars from multiple people by faking her pregnancy, according to court documents.
Jessica Felder, 35, is charged with aggregate theft. She requested a court-appointed lawyer in court on Aug. 3.
On Sept. 30, 2017, investigators said Felder went to an adoption facility in northwest Harris County, near the intersection of Jones Road and West Road, and told employees that she was pregnant and wanted to put her unborn child up for adoption, court records stated.
On Oct. 2, 2017, authorities said Felder went to a different adoption facility in northwest Harris County, near the intersection of FM 1960 and Champion Forest Drive, and provided employees at the facility a "Proof of Pregnancy" slip indicating her pregnancy began in July 2017 and she was expected to deliver around April 20, 2018, according to court records.
On Oct. 17, 2017, Felder went to a third adoption center and told them she was pregnant with twin boys, court records show. That center paid Felder more than $3,100 between that date and June 2018.
In January 2018, court records indicated that a couple, wishing to adopt a child for nearly a year, was told by the first adoption agency that they were selected by Felder to be the foster family. Investigators said Felder told the center and the couple that she was pregnant with twin boys.
Court records indicated that the couple paid Felder more than $15,000 between Jan. 19 and Feb. 28 for expenses associated with rent, food, transportation and other fees.
As the expected due date got closer, Felder told one of the adoption agencies that she was not receiving enough support and that she decided to keep her twin boys, according to investigators.
During the investigation, authorities said that on Sept. 26, 2017, Felder went to an area hospital complaining of lower pelvic crams and vaginal bleeding. At that time, Felder said she was nine weeks pregnant with twins.
Medical records indicate that Felder had a miscarriage around that time.
On Jan. 18, Felder returned to the hospital complaining of dental, mouth and ear pain, court records said. Despite the earlier miscarriage, investigators said she told hospital personnel that she was still pregnant with twins.
Felder went to a gynecologist for the first time on May 2, after not having any confirmation or documentation that she was pregnant during the time she purported to be pregnant with twins, according to court records.
At the appointment, Felder told the doctor that her last menstrual cycle was in early January, court records indicate. At this appointment, Felder learned that she was not pregnant with twin boys, but with a baby girl, according to court records.
The doctor said her expected delivery date was in October 2018 and that her pregnancy began sometime in January.
During a court appearance on Aug. 3, officials said Felder has three children and has not had a job for 10 months.
Authorities said her pregnancy is "high-risk."
She also has a felony conviction of burglary of a habitation from 2002.
Her bond is currently set at $1,500.