Leader of Haiti 'Kidnappers' Ensnared in Money Woes

Laura Silsby faced business troubles in Idaho
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 5, 2010 4:54 AM CST
Updated Feb 5, 2010 6:00 AM CST
Laura Silsby, 40, center, and Charisa Coulter, 24, both of Meridian, Idaho, are escorted out of the court building in Port-au-Prince yesterday.   (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)
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(Newser) – The leader of the group of American Baptists accused of trying to snatch children out of Haiti without authorization flouted plenty of laws in her native Idaho. Laura Silsby, founder of online business Personal Shopper, has a long record of failing to pay employees, failing to pay debts, and ignoring traffic laws, the Idaho Statesman finds in a look through local records.

Silsby has been the subject of 8 civil lawsuits and 14 unpaid wage claims. The home which housed her nonprofit New Life Children's Refuge was foreclosed in December. One former employee who won a case for unpaid wages says he's not surprised her "lack of forethought" got her in trouble in Haiti. "She would come up with an idea on Wednesday, and on Friday there would be a new idea that was 180 degrees different," he told the New York Times.

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