A federal lawsuit claims New York City failed to properly screen a woman who used fictitious identities to adopt 10 disabled children and later repeatedly abused, starved and imprisoned them.
The lawsuit was filed Wednesday in Brooklyn federal court on behalf of the children.
The suit says 64-year-old Judith Leekin was able to carry out the scam in which she fraudulently collected $1.68 million in adoption subsidies because the city's Administration for Children's Services didn't do its job.
The suit says ACS was a "dysfunctional bureaucracy" and could have easily exposed the scheme.
Earlier this year, Leekin was sentenced to 20 years in a Florida prison.
She was also sentenced in New York to serve 11 years in federal prison for fraud.
Leekin lived in Florida with the children. The city says it intends to fight the lawsuit.