Friday, 06 November 2009 00:00
Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice announced that a grand jury has returned a 69-count indictment against a Roslyn attorney for stealing more than $300,000 from prospective adoptive parents by promising them babies that did not exist. The DA’s Office has established criminal cases involving 13 families as the result of an investigation that began in May 2008.
Kevin Cohen, 41, was arraigned on charges of Grand Larceny in the Second Degree, 11 counts of Grand Larceny in the Third Degree, three counts of Criminal Possession of Forgery Devices, Attempted Grand Larceny in the Third Degree, Scheme to Defraud in the First Degree, ten counts of Forgery in the Third Degree, 40 counts of Criminal Possession of a Forged Instrument in the Third Degree, and two counts of Criminal Personation in the Second Degree. He faces up to 15 years in prison if convicted of the most serious charge. He is due back in court Nov. 6.
Cohen is being held in the Nassau University Medical Center’s prison ward, where he will remain incarcerated in lieu of $500,000 bail.
Rice said that from May 2007 until the time of his arrest, Cohen held himself out as a legal expert in adoption proceedings. He was able to obtain large sums of money from couples to arrange adoptions. Couples, including those from Georgia, Texas, and Ohio, gave Cohen the money believing it would be held in escrow to pay for the medical costs and other expenses of birth mothers who wished to have their children adopted.
Rice said that 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, Rice said, adding that he 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.
Anyone who believes that they may be the victim of Cohen’s deception or who has relevant information should contact ADA Andrew Garbarino or Deputy Chief Karen Bennett of the Public Corruption Bureau by calling 516-680-8624.
“This is an evil, heartless act by a man who would say or do anything to steal money from good people,” Rice said. “My office will aggressively prosecute this crime in order to ensure that Kevin Cohen never has the chance to destroy another family’s dreams.”
Cohen founded the non-profit Adoption Annex in Roslyn in 2004 to provide services, seminars, and information to adoptive parents and children of adoption.
Handling the case for the DA’s Office are ADA Garbarino and Deputy Chief Bennett. Cohen is represented by Matin Emouna, Esq.
The charges are merely accusations and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.