SANTA ANA (AP) — Ten men and women from China who were considered witnesses in the so-called “maternity tourism” case have been charged with violating court orders to stay in the U.S. during investigations into the matter.

Federal prosecutors said Wednesday the defendants used the services of several Southern California businesses under investigation for helping pregnant Chinese women give birth while in the U.S. so their babies would be American citizens.

Prosecutors had agreed not to charge the group for lying to federal immigration authorities about the true purpose of their trip to the United States in exchange for their cooperation into the probe. But since they fled the U.S. earlier this month, they were charged with violating federal court orders to stay in the country and making false statements on their visa applications.

(Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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