Lawyer indicted as a middleman for adoptions (1978)

Original Publication: Courier-Post
Original Publication Date: April 14, 1978

NOTE: Much of the information taken from Kent’s testimony completely contradicts Hollie’s experiences and even some of the details that were provided to Michelle by her adoptive father in 2017. We briefly discuss these issues and inconsistencies in this post.

Courier-Post Staff

A Burlington County lawyer who specializes in matrimonial matters was indicted Thursday by a Camden County grand jury for illegally acting as an intermediary in the adoption of three children.

Edward Kent, 52, who has a law office in Willingboro, also was charged with obstruction of justice in the eight-count indictment. None of the children or the couples who wanted to adopt them is named in the indictment, although it specifies that their identities are known to the grand jury.

It was not immediately known if any of the adoptions have been finalized. Reached at his law office in Willingboro late Thursday afternoon, Kent had no comment on the charges.

According to the indictment, Kent agreed to assist in placing children of three women with families. Knowing that papers later would have to be filed in county court for the adoption, Kent allegedly instructed the mothers to deny that he participated in the placement.

He later induced persons receiving the children to withhold information about his involvement in the placements, according to the indictment.

The indictment also charges that when Kent learned that the Camden County prosecutor’s office was investigating circumstances surrounding the placement of the children, he tried to convince one of the mothers to mislead investigators and withhold information. It further charges that Kent offered to pay the mother if she lied to investigators.   [Note from the Riess Family – now read this article]

The indictment covers incidents between Dec. 4, 1976, and May 7, 1977.

It charges that in February 1977, Kent wrote to former Assistant Camden County Prosecutor Archibald Kreiger and lies about his participation in the adoptions. That letter was in response to questions from Kreiger.

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