September 25, 2009 - Updated 9/26/09
Attorney Kevin Cohen, 41, from Long Island, NY is accused of running an adoption scam that cheated prospective parents out of thousands of dollars by falsely promising them babies that didn't exist.
Cohen was arrested at his home Friday in Roslyn by DA Investigators. He has been charged with grand larceny in the second degree, scheme to defraud in the first degree and criminal possession of a forged instrument (a phony document supposedly from Nebraska he showed to prospective parents), according to the Nassau County District Attorney's Office.
If convicted he faces up to 15 years behind bars
For over a period of two years, Cohen is accused of advertising himself as a legal expert specializing in adoption proceedings. He allegedly obtained large sums of cash from couples in exchange for arranging adoptions.
Despite being arrested in 2009 on charges of grand larceny, forgery and identity theft charges, Cohen is accused of continuing to search for people looking to adopt. One couple - identified as Deborah and Milton Josephs of Port Washington - apparently shelled out $65,000 in hopes of adopting a child.
The District Attorney's Office is asking anyone who believes they may have been a victim in the scam to contact officials at: 516-680-8624.
Cohen's attorney, Matin Emouna of Mineola, said that the allegations against his client are unfounded and that the dispute between Cohen and the Josephses is a civil, not a criminal, matter.
"He's helped a lot of adoptive parents," Emouna said. "He is an adopted child himself. He relates very well to the needs of adoptive parents."
He added: "My client has not hurt a single soul."
Take out your violins: Deborah and Milton Josephs of Port Washington wanted to add to their family so their 6-year-old daughter could have a sibling.
They said that they bought two car seats and a "Big Sisters Rock" T-shirt. They prepared the baby room.
But after hearing "lie upon lie upon lie," Deborah Josephs said, the couple contacted an attorney, setting off an investigation that led Friday to the arrest of the Roslyn adoption attorney that they had hired to adopt a baby.
"When the babies didn't materialize, we got suspicious," said Deborah Josephs, 44.
Why aren't who pay this kind of money likewise arrested for baby buying, or attempting to buy a baby...just as "johns" who solicit prostitutes are sometimes arrested? I see that as one way to stop the practice.
The other way is to stop all profiteering in adoption.