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Roslyn lawyer charged with setting up fake adoptions

Mineola: Deborah and Milton Josephs who was promised

Mineola: Deborah and Milton Josephs who was promised a child for adoption but lost $60,000 to Kevin Cohen who was now arrested on Grand Larceny charges on Friday, September 25, 2009 in Mineola, New York. (Photo by Howard Schnapp) Photo Credit: Newsday/Photo by Howard Schnapp

A Roslyn attorney stole thousands of dollars from prospective parents trying to adopt children by promising them nonexistent babies, Nassau District Attorney Kathleen Rice said Friday.

Kevin Cohen, 41, was arrested at his home Friday morning following a 16-month investigation into the alleged scam.

Cohen was charged last December for trying to steal the house he lived in, prosecutors said.

Beginning in May 2007, Cohen presented himself as a legal expert in adoption proceedings and convinced couples to give him money to pay for medical costs and other expenses incurred by birth mothers who were willing to put their babies up for adoption, prosecutors said.

One couple paid Cohen $65,000 when he claimed he had two birth mothers who wanted to put their children up for adoption, prosecutors said. The mothers and babies did not exist, they said.

Cohen was charged with second-degree grand larceny, first-degree scheme to defraud and third-degree criminal possession of a forged instrument. He faces up to 15 years in prison if convicted.

He is to be arraigned Friday in First District Court in Hempstead.

Prosecutors began investigating Cohen in May 2008.

Last December, Cohen was charged with attempted grand larceny, forgery and other charges for trying to steal the home he lived in, prosecutors said. Cohen did not own the home, which was held in trust for him, prosecutors said. That case is pending.

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