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13 Couples Claim Ponzi-like Adoption Scam


 In this Friday, Sept. 25, 2009. photo released by the Nassau County District Attorney's Office in Mineola N.Y., Long Island adoption attorney Kevin Cohen is shown. Cohen is accused of running an adoption Ponzi Scheme on as many as a dozen couples, who paid him tens of thousands of dollars in adoption fees, only to be given bogus excuses why the baby was ultimately not available. They would then receive partial refunds from money he collected from subsequent couples seeking a child, Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice said. (AP Photo/Nassau County Prosecutor's Office)

In this Friday, Sept. 25, 2009. photo released by the Nassau County District Attorney's Office in Mineola N.Y., Long Island adoption attorney Kevin Cohen is shown. Cohen is accused of running an adoption Ponzi Scheme on as many as a dozen couples, who paid him tens of thousands of dollars in adoption fees, only to be given bogus excuses why the baby was ultimately not available. They would then receive partial refunds from money he collected from subsequent couples seeking a child, Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice said. (AP Photo/Nassau County Prosecutor's Office)

Prosecutors have filed additional charges against a Long Island attorney accused of running a multistate adoption scam.

Kevin Cohen was arraigned Wednesday on a 69-count indictment accusing him of grand larceny and other charges involving 13 couples.


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Nassau County prosecutors say Cohen promised couples from New York, Georgia, Ohio, Texas and Florida that he could arrange adoptions. In reality, the babies never existed.

They have likened the case to a Ponzi scheme. It’s claimed Cohen partially refunded some disappointed couples with proceeds he collected from subsequent couples. He is suspected of scamming at least $300,000.

Cohen founded the non-profit Adoption Annex in Roslyn in 2004 to provide services, seminars, and information to adoptive parents and children of adoption, Nassau prosecutors said.

“This is an evil, heartless act by a man who would say or do anything to steal money from good people,” Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice said in a statement.

Cohen is being held on $500,000 bail, which defense attorney Matin Emouna says Cohen can’t post while he is being held in the Nassau University Medical Center’s prison ward. Emouna declined to comment on the specific allegations.

Cohen faces up to 15 years in prison if convicted of the most serious charge. He is due back in court Nov. 6.

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press.

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