The Nassau County District Attorney's Office recently announced the arrest of a lawyer from Queens for attempting to sell a baby that he claimed belonged to a client. Tamas Kovacs, 37, of Glen Oaks is accused of reaching out to couples through the Internet on adoption web sites and offering a baby for adoption. He as arrested last week at the Garden City Hotel when he agreed to give the baby to a couple in return for an under the table $60,000 payment. In addition, the mother of the baby, Attilane Torok, also known as Victoria Lanyi, 26, of College Point was charged with Attempted Grand Larceny in the Second Degree. Kovacs is charged with Attempted Grand Larceny in the Second Degree, as well as violations of the New York State Social Service Law which makes it illegal to require anything other than authorized expenses for an adoption and the illegal placing out of the child by someone other than an authorized agency.
Dillon said, "Approximately three weeks ago my office received information that Kovacs was attempting to sell a baby that he claimed was from a Hungarian mother and an American father. He said the mother of a 10-week-old girl had authorized him to place the baby up for adoption. After a few meetings Kovacs would allegedly tell the interested parties that they would have to make an under-the-table payment to him for as much as $120,000. An out of town couple cooperated with the investigation and in telephone conversations with Kovacs he told them about the financial arrangements. In recorded conversations he allegedly said the couple should never use the term money over the phone and that from now on money would be referred to as "books." He indicated that they could not speak of money over the phone in light of lessons learned from the Linda Tripp affair. Kovacs agreed to give the baby to the out of town couple for $60,000 and a meeting was set up in Garden City last week. He was arrested as he left the baby in the hotel room with the couple and exited the hotel with the money."
The DA said the investigation revealed that the actual father is not an American citizen and that another person was used to pose as the father so that the baby could get into this country legally. The child has now been placed with Child Protective Services. Both defendants will be arraigned on the charges later this morning in First District Court in Hempstead. If convicted, they each face up to seven years in prison. The charges are merely an accusation and the defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.
Dillon acknowledged the assistance in the investigation of the US Customs Department and investigations from the New York State Police.