Long Island adoption scam

September 25, 2009 11:45:29 AM PDT
A Roslyn attorney is under arrest---charged in an adoption scam. Prosecutors say the suspect stole thousands of dollars from hopeful parents by promising them babies that didn't exist and took their money anyway. According to the office of Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice, Kevin Cohen, age 41, has been charged with grand larceny in the second degree, scheme to defraud in the first degree and criminal possession of a forged instrument. Cohen is the founder of the non-profit Adoption Annex in Roslyn provides services to adoptive parents and children.

Cohen was arrested at his home this morning by DA Investigators and faces up to 15 years in prison if convicted.

D.A. Rice said that for over two years, Cohen advertised himself as a legal expert in adoption proceedings and obtained large sums of money from couples in exchange for arranging adoptions. Couples gave Cohen the money believing it would be held in escrow to pay for the medical costs and other expenses of the birth mothers.

In 2009, Cohen was arrested on attempted grand larceny, forgery and identity theft charges, but despite his legal troubles, he continued to seek out new couples looking to adopt. One couple paid Cohen $65,000 after he claimed that he had located two prospective out-of-state birth mothers who were looking to give up their babies for adoption. In reality, these birth mothers did not exist and were fabricated by Cohen.

Cohen went as far as to create forged medical records and information for the fake birth mothers which he gave to a number of other couples looking to adopt.

The investigation is ongoing and the District Attorney's Office suspects that Cohen may have defrauded additional prospective adoptive parents.

The D.A.'s office is asking anyone who believes that they may be the victim of Cohen's scheme or who has relevant information to contact ADA Andrew Garbarino or Deputy Chief Karen Bennett of the Public Corruption Bureau at the following number: 516-680-8624.

"Kevin Cohen has not only stolen money from these couples, but he has crushed their dream of becoming parents," Rice said. "This is among the most morally disgusting thefts I have ever witnessed as a prosecutor. He preyed on the emotions and the hopes of couples at their most vulnerable time. I strongly encourage anyone who believes they are a victim of this man's scheme to contact my office immediately."