Two state attorneys general have taken steps to shut down the apparently illegitimate, Tampa-based company The Surrogacy Group, which has been allegedly defrauding Floridian couples seeking surrogacy services since last year. The Surrogacy Group, which is owned and operated by Greg Blosser, was notified last week by two state attorneys general that the company must immediately shut down its services, as state operatives have detected upwards of $270,000 in fraudulent payments made to the company.

According to the Miami Herald, The Surrogacy Group aimed to connect couples who were struggling to conceive children on their own with a surrogate mother who would carry an embryo fertilized in vitro on behalf of the couple until the time of birth, at which point the child is adopted by the couple and the surrogate mother receives a payment.

According to the attorneys general from Maryland and Florida, however, The Surrogacy Group never offered legitimate services but allegedly defrauded various couples, taking up to $100,000 from prospective parents without delivering legitimate services.

Complaint filed by Florida's attorney general

A complaint filed by Florida’s attorney general details the legal case being brought against the company, which presumably preyed upon couples in both the Old Line and Sunshine states.

A separate press release from Maryland’s attorney general details the temporary restraining order put on the company’s owner, Greg Blosser, who was instructed to refrain “from selling any further surrogacy-related services to Maryland consumers, as well as from collecting any further monies from Maryland consumers in connection with his business,” per the press release.

According to Maryland’s attorney general, Blosser and his company sometimes suckered prospective patients out of upwards to $100,000 before ending their business relationship having never delivered the promised services. The Better Business Bureau, which is not a government agency but nonetheless is relied upon by many consumers, currently lists the company’s rating as “F.” It has received at least nine complaints about the company in the last year.

Surrogacy company stopped communicating with clients

In certain cases, the surrogacy agency apparently cut off communication with customers entirely, prompting many of the complaints which ultimately drew legal scrutiny, Capital Gazette notes. The company isn’t the first reported that attempted to exploit couples seeking surrogacy services, either, with extensive reporting from the New York Times detailing previous instances of surrogacy fraud, which frequently occurs across international boundaries.

Surrogacy laws vary on a state by state basis, though the fraud allegedly carried out by The Surrogacy Company is illegal across the United States. Consumers in Florida who are concerned about possible surrogacy fraud should review a webpage from the Florida Clerks of Court Offices which includes a consumer complaints guide.