Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Kevin Cohen: NY Adoption (Scamming) Attorney on Trial

Jailed Attorney Charged with Assualting Guard

Kevin Cohen, who I first reported about here, a jailed Long Island attorney is currently on trial for allegedly stealing at least $300,000 from clients who had hired him to help them arrange adoptions was charged last week with assaulting a corrections officer after the officer told the lawyer to stop hogging the only copying machine in the law library.

Cohen of Roslyn was charged with second-degree assault, a Class D felony, and obstructing governmental administration, a Class A misdemeanor, in connection with the incident on Sept. 24 at the Nassau County Correctional Facility at East Meadow. He pleaded not guilty to the charges for which he could be sentenced to up to seven years in prison. Bail was set at $30,000.

Michael Adams, the president of Nassau County Sheriff's Officers Association, said Cohen had been using the copying machine for a while and other inmates were waiting. When the officer told Cohen that he would have to step aside and give the others their turn, the two had words, and the attorney attacked the guard, Adams said. The officer sustained bruised ribs, but he is already back at work.

Cohen was restrained, but he was not injured.

Cohen has been in jail since Sept. 29, 2009, when he failed to make $500,000 bail after being arrested on 69 counts tied to schemes to scam 13 families for whom he allegedly promised to help facilitate adoptions. Jury selection is scheduled to begin today in his trial before Supreme Court Justice William C. Donnino.

Cohen plans to represent himself, as he did at his arraignment in the assault case, the Nassau County district attorney's office reported. He faces up to 15 years in prison if convicted on the most serious charge. Efforts to negotiate a plea bargain were unsuccessful, and the district attorney plans to seek consecutive sentences.

One defrauded plaintiff, Brigid Vogt, of Long Island, said Cohen had given her a sonogram of the baby she and her husband were promised.

"I was carrying it around with me," Vogt told PIX News. "I was kissing it...I thought this way going to be my baby."

I encourage you to to read details here.  It seems clear to me that Mr. Cohen is yet another very troubled adoptee who is bent on getting back at what was done to him by making a mockery of what adoption has become: vultures paying money, hoping mothers do not "change their mind" but give them what they have paid as much as $60,000 for!

I have confirmed fisrt hand by those who knew his now deceased adoptive parents, that his adopton is perhaps one thing he told these people that was true. It also confirms that his actions say a lot about what he thinks of adoption and those who adopt!


Anonymous said...

In defense of the people who thought they were adopting a child, these fees are typically broken down as a fee to the adoption agency or attorney (which can range from $ 5,000 - $ 10,000), then the rest is presumably to cover the birth mother's living expenses (in states where this is allowed) and medical expenses. In many cases, the woman having the baby does not have medical insurance and, if she does not quality for medicaid or does not want to utilize it, then the costs of maternity care and delivery can end up being quite high. The money is supposed to be held in escrow and distributed out as needed then any funds which are not used by the finalization of the adoption are to be returned to the adoptive parents. If anything, potential adoptive parents are also victims
of this whole system. This particular couple was having money placed in escrow to cover the legal and medical costs of 2 adoptions; they were not paying $ 60,000 for a baby.

I think there should be some compassion for couples who are unable to have children and trying to give their love and parenting skills to children who were not wanted. I have many friends who have adopted and their children are very happy and well adjusted and certainly far better off than they would have been should my friends have not adopted them.

Granted I think that the whole system for adopting is a mess. It puts potential adoptive parents at risk not only of losing money but of getting the hopes up only to have them crushed but it is also a money making process for many attorneys, scam artists, etc.

The couple in this case were clearly victims however....not, as you suggest, vultures.

Mirah Riben said...

First, I agree that it is the system that is terribly flawed and unregulated and adopters are sometimes scammed as a result. I address ways to avoid being scammed in my book.

I have compassion for childlessness - just as i do for people who are blind, have lost a limb (or have paralyzed limbs), or who are need of an organ transplant.

However no one - no matter how much compassion we have for people suffering these medical needs - would condone them BUYING a body part!

The fact that adoption practitioners have fogured out how to push the envelope and find loopholes in the laws that prohibit baby buying by calling them medical and housing fees...makes it no less immoral.

Infertility is a medical problem which needs medical solutions and prevention education. No one "deserves' another's child to fill their need...especially when they are ignoring the children who need homes...the
more than a hundred thousand children who COULD be adopted from foster care for minimal filing fees. There is no excuse for people doing this and they get exactly what they deserve! I have no more pity for them than I do for someone who might com[plain that the $10 designer purse or watch they bought on a NY street corner is a knock off...or the prositute they paid for didn't perfom...or the drugs they bought were cut!

Finally ... you cannot tell me for sure that any child domestically is "far better off" having been adopted, unless they were removed because of abuse and had no extended fmaily member willing and able to care safely for them.

Adoption does not guarantee a better life.
It's a trade off. Some kids make out better, some do not. Adoptive parents are as human as the rest of us. They drink (sometimes too much), they divorce (perhaps at a higher rate than the general populace), they die...AND they ABUSE and even murder the children entrusted to them! Conversely, many mother and fatyhers who are pressured to relinquish are good, upstanding citizens, parents, professionals...married and raising other children and could have adequately rasied the relinzquihsed child with minimal and temportary assistance. I make this observation, based not on a handful of my friends, but on studies and anecdotal reporting of HUNDREDS of mothers and father!

Adopters are at risk for loosing money,..natural families are at risk of being pressured out of their CHILDREN! Which is worse? You can remake money; you cannot replace a lost child.

And...even in the best adoption, a child may gain some material advantages but it is a trade off for his original identity, his medical history, his roots, heritage and culture. Would you want to give all that up?? Never to see anyone who looks like you? Denied your own birth certificate?

And finally...the scammers and unfortunate consequences of adoption only exist because of the DEMAND! Prices are set my whatever the market will bear and the tens of thousands of dollars per child pays for a great deal in corruption overseas.

RussiaToday Apr 29, 2010 on Russian Adoption Freeze

Russi Today: America television Interview 4/16/10 Regarding the Return of Artyem, 7, to Russia alone

RT: Russia-America TV Interview 3/10

Korean Birthmothers Protest to End Adoption

Motherhood, Adoption, Surrender, & Loss

Who Am I?

Bitter Winds

Adoption and Truth Video

Adoption Truth

Birthparents Never Forget