What is FCA?

Child Advocacy Blog


Florida Foster Care, Child Advocacy Attorney Named ‘Most Effective Lawyer’

December 10th, 2011   No Comments   Advocacy, News & Events

Howard Talenfeld, a partner in the foster care / disabled persons practice with Colodny, Fass, Talenfeld, Karlinsky & Abate P.A., in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, recently was named a Pro Bono Finalist in the Most Effective Lawyers 2011 by the Daily Business Review.

The publication reviewed the case of Markus Kim, a former New York City foster child who was swindled by his adoptive parents out of $400,000.

“It was the only money he had in the world and he was now destitute,” said a lawyer from New York Legal Aid. Read the Daily Business Review story here.

Investing just 30 hours in the case, Talenfeld called the U.S. attorney’s office in the Middle District of Florida and persuaded federal prosecutors there to file criminal charges against Kim’s adoptive parents. Talenfeld urged the prosecutors to pursue criminal rather than civil charges, which would have taken far longer to resolve.

After a three-year investigation by the FBI and Florida Department of Law Enforcement, Radhames Oropeza was found guilty of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and sentenced to three years in federal prison. Asia Oropeza pleaded guilty to wire fraud and is also serving a three year-sentence.

Best of all, prosecutors were able to recover all Kim’s money. In July 2011, he received a check for $409,662, which represents the stolen money plus interest.

“What this case shows is that lawyers can spend relatively small amounts of time and save somebody’s life,” Talenfeld said. “You don’t have to put in 200 hours, you don’t have to be a child welfare expert or a seasoned expert on child dependence law to make this kind of impact. You just have to use your common sense — and be willing to help.”

Leave a Reply