The New York Law Journal by Andrew Keshner - December 8, 2010
Long Island lawyer Kevin Cohen was sentenced today to a prison term of 10 to 20 years after being convicted of stealing more than $300,000 from families who were expecting his help in arranging the adoptions of children who actually did not exist. Inside a Nassau County courtroom filled with news media and some of Mr. Cohen's victims, the Roslyn attorney apologized for "any and all hurt" to the families who sought his services and wished them "some degree of solace, calm and healing." Last month, a jury found Mr. Cohen guilty of 37 counts that included second- and third-degree grand larceny. The felony convictions of Mr. Cohen will result in his automatic disbarment. Mr. Cohen had used faked sonograms and non-existent birth mothers to convince 13 families he could help them with adoptions. The sentence by County Court Judge John Kase includes stay away orders for all the victim families, restitution of about $300,000 and $60,000 in fines. Before sentencing today, three victims told the court of Mr. Cohen's impact on their lives. "Your honor, Mr. Cohen is a true villain," said Milton Josephs, 42, of Port Washington, who lost $60,000 to the lawyer. During the trial, Mr. Cohen tried to use an insanity defense, which Judge Kase rejected. Mr. Cohen plans to appeal the rejection of his defense, according to Adam Moser, a Rockville Centre attorney who was appointed Mr. Cohen's legal adviser. After the sentencing, Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice told reporters that Mr. Cohen still was not taking responsibility for his actions. "He stood in court today and tried to say everything he could to escape responsibility," she said.