When people place their faith in someone, and in turn have been cheated financially, it can be agonizing. But when it’s about dreams of starting, it’s utterly heart-breaking for the victims and beyond despicable for the cheater.
Planet Hospital, founded by the regarded shyster, Rudy Rupak, 45, has caused both financial and emotional distress for many couples wanting a baby.
Established in California in 2002, Planet Hospital is a medical tourism company and a self-promoting soapbox for Rupak.
In the New York Times, Tamara Lewin wrote a comprehensive article titled, A Surrogacy Agency That Delivered Heartache.
Lewin writes about Rupak and his business, “Over the last decade he has held forth about how his company has helped Americans head overseas for affordable tummy tucks and hip replacements. And after he expanded his business to include surrogacy in India for Western couples grappling with infertility — and then in Thailand, and last year, Mexico — he increasingly took credit for the global spread of surrogacy.” She continues, “But now Mr. Rupak is in involuntary bankruptcy proceedings, under investigation by the F.B.I. and being pursued by dozens of furious clients from around the world who accuse him of taking their money and dashing their dreams of starting a family.”
Let me intervene here by saying that according to CBS News, although Rupak’s surrogacy business is closed and undergoing bankruptcy proceedings, he still operates his other medical tourism procedures around the globe.
Dumbfounding, isn’t it?
Now, let’s get back to the New York Times publication.
The article goes on to highlight how Planet Hospital attracted intended parents to countries such as Mexico and India because of the price tag. Egg donors, IVF clinics and surrogates were half the cost as compared to the U.S.A.
In the article, Johnathan C. Dailey, an attorney in Washington, had the misfortune of doing business with Rupak. In Dec. 2013, he wired his initial installment of $37,000 to Planet Hospital. The intended monies were going toward a surrogate living in Mexico.
The reporter writes, “He [Dailey] and his fiancée flew to Cancún to leave a sperm deposit at the clinic that would create the embryo and to visit the downtown house where their surrogate would live while pregnant. They picked a ‘premium’ egg donor from the agency Planet Hospital sent them to.”
Then all activity stopped.
Dailey said in the article, “It was just outright fraud. It’s like we paid money to buy a condo, they took the money, and there was no condo. But it’s worse, because it’s about having a baby.”
Then there’s Rhyannon Morrigan and her husband who signed a surrogacy contract in 2012 based in India.
She told the reporter, “By the time you realize how deep you’re in, you’ve lost all your money and you’re stuck.”
Looking back, Morrigan said how Planet Hospital exchanges were mainly verbal, and rarely, was anything put in writing.
Morrigan also admits that there were red flags early on.
She said to the press, “Even at the start, when we sent the contract in and asked for a signed copy back, we never got one.” She went on to say, “We got so tired of excuses and lies. By July 2013, I’d pretty much let go of the idea of getting my money back, but I didn’t want it to happen to anyone else.”
To help warn others of the heart-wrenching scam, Morrigan posted her reviews and complaints on cyberspace. In return, she received “threats” from Rupak.
The list of Planet Hospital complaints is a lengthy one.
In the article, former Planet Hospital employee, Catherine Moscarello, chimed in. She described the company as dealing in “unsavory practices.
Moscarello told the reporter, “The object was to get money.”
Like a revolving door, Moscarello explained how Rupak would frequently change fertility clinics.
“….whenever his relationship with a clinic in India or Thailand or Cancún broke off, he would disparage the clinic and the doctors there.” Moscarello said. She continued, “But what was really happening was that he wasn’t paying his bills.”
Back on his soapbox, Rupak said in an interview, “What happened is entirely 100 percent my fault, but its mismanagement rather than outright fraud.”
More lies, don’t you think?
The New York Times reporter so eloquently writes, “The emerging Planet Hospital story, which Mr. Rupak characterized as one of mismanagement rather than fraud, stands as a cautionary tale about the proliferation of unregulated surrogacy agencies, their lack of accountability and their ability to prey on vulnerable clients who want a baby so badly that they do not notice all the red flags.”
Quite honestly, I couldn’t have stated it better myself.