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Newport Beach mother charged in kidnapping plot

December 8, 2009 |  7:14 pm
A Newport Beach mother was charged today with offering to pay $10,000 to have her 7-year-old son kidnapped from a foster family so she could flee with him to Europe or the Middle East, prosecutors said.

Niveen Ismail, 43, was charged with a felony count of solicitation to commit kidnapping, the Orange County district attorney's office said.

Ismail lost parental rights to her boy in 2005.  He has been living with a Lake Forest family who is in the process of adopting him, according to the district attorney.

Ismail allegedly offered to pay a private investigator to kidnap her son and take him to Tijuana, prosecutors said. The investigator contacted police. A meeting was set up between the mother, the investigator and an undercover officer during which she repeated her plan, the district attorney said.

Ismail is being held on $1-million bail and is scheduled for a pretrial hearing Dec. 15 at the Newport Beach courthouse. If convicted, prosecutors said, she could be sentenced to three years in state prison.

--Robert J. Lopez