ST. LOUIS, Mo. – Kwasi and Ashley Oyirifi met at Mizzou. But it wasn’t quite love at first sight.

“I’d say love at first poke. He poked me in the stomach one day,” Ashley said.

The poke progressed to a partnership, and the pair married in 2015. When it came time to grow their family, they found the path to parenthood wasn’t a walk in the park.

“The first implantation in IVF was successful but we lost our daughter 18 weeks into the pregnancy. We tried multiple implantations after that and that didn’t take hold,” Kwasi said .

The physical, emotional and financial toll of the failed IVF procedures weighed heavily on the Oyirifi’s.

“We decided to try surrogacy and see if we could have a child that way. We talked to our reproductive endocrinologist here at Wash U and he said we would be a good candidate. We moved from there,” Ashley said.

The Oyirifi’s found a surrogate and moved quickly to get the legal process started.

Wedding party ruined as gunmen shoot groom during robbery attempt

“She lives in Wisconsin; she’s wonderful. When I met her, we were talking to several people, but I just felt like this was a really good match and that’s proven to be true,” she said.

As part of their contract with the surrogate, the Oyirifi’s agreed to fund a third-party escrow account run by Surrogacy Escrow Account Management in Houston, Texas.

“Lots of people had journeys with them. Two and three journeys and just had really great feedback about the company. We were between a couple and decided to go with this one because the reviews are so good.” Ashley Oyirifi.

In January, the Oyirifi’s wired $65,000 to the account. The surrogate began receiving monthly payments and everything was fine. But on June 14, they got an email from SEAM owner Dominique Side saying, “Due to legal action, I regret to inform you that all operations have been placed on hold. At this time, I am unable to provide further details regarding this matter.”

“That’s when we realized some surrogates weren’t getting paid and that our funds were unavailable,” Ashley said.

“Right now, my number is over 600 people (who) have been harmed by it. I think the amount of money we’re talking about is in the millions,” Lori Hood, an attorney in Houston, said.

FOX 26 in Houston interviewed Hood. She filed a lawsuit on behalf of her client against SEAM, Dominique Side and her alleged business partner Anthony Hall on June 21.

“We were able to freeze bank accounts as we find them so that hopefully one of these accounts has money in it so we can start paying the surrogates,” Hood said. “I think whatever has happened to the money, wherever it’s been transferred to, we can find it and hold whoever has the money; whatever it’s been turned into, we can grab those assets.”

Missouri officer pulls over ‘UFO’ gliding down I-44

Hood tells us the FBI is actively investigating SEAM. FBI Houston shared a tweet asking for victims and people with information to come forward. Hood hopes Dominique Side does the same.

“You’ve got people whose lives are being heavily impacted by this and you got into this business thinking you were helping people. You just can’t bail on them when things get tough for you,” Hood said.

Kwasi and Ashley Oyirifi say they’ve been in contact with FBI Houston, Houston Police and attorneys general in Texas and Missouri.

“We’re talking to our attorneys and our surrogate and just trying to figure out what we do from here,” Ashley said.

For now, they’re trying to focus on the positive results of their baby’s 20-week ultrasound and the health of their surrogate.

“This is a really hard thing and a scary thing, but it doesn’t overshadow our excitement for our baby girl who’s coming,” Ashley said.

Contact 2’s Mike Colombo attempted to question Dominique Side about what’s going on with her business and the Oyirifi’s money. He received an automated email reply that read, in part, “Under advice of counsel, I am not permitted to respond to any inquiries regarding the investigation.”

The Oyirifi’s have a GoFundMe set up for fraud recovery funds. To view the page or donate, click here.