Tony Rackauckas, District Attorney
401 Civic Center Drive West
Santa Ana, CA 92701
For Immediate Release
Susan Kang Schroeder
MOTHER FACES TRIAL FOR SOLICITING
UNDERCOVER INVESTIGATOR TO KIDNAP
HER 7-YEAR-OLD SON FROM FOSTER FAMILY
SANTA ANA – A mother faces trial today for soliciting to have her 7-year-old son kidnapped from his foster family in exchange for a large amount of cash so that she could flee with him to Europe or the Middle East. Niveen Ismail, 45, Newport Beach, is charged with one felony count of solicitation to commit kidnapping. If convicted, she faces a maximum sentence of three years in state prison. Opening statements are expected to begin today, Dec. 7, 2011, at 1:45 p.m. in Department C-29, Central Justice Center, Santa Ana.
In 2005, Ismail lost parental rights to her son. In November 2009, Ismail is accused of contacting and meeting with a private investigator. She is accused of asking the private investigator to kidnap her son from his foster family in Lake Forest and take him to Tijuana, Mexico, in exchange for a large amount of cash.
After meeting with Ismail, the private investigator contacted the Newport Beach Police Department (NBPD). On Dec. 4, 2009, Ismail is accused of meeting again with the private investigator and an undercover police officer from NBPD, whom she believed to be another private investigator that may be able to assist her in kidnapping her son. She is accused of discussing obtaining passports for her and her son, explaining that she intended to flee with the child to Europe or the Middle East, and asking again for her son to be kidnapped in exchange for money. The defendant was arrested at the scene.
Senior Deputy District Attorney Beth Costello is prosecuting this case.