Orson Mozes and the perfect symbiosis
I’m not going to write a great deal about the details of the crimes Mozes is accused of, instead I’d prefer to point readers at this Naples Daily News piece that pretty well serves as a backgrounder, Miami police nab ‘Most Wanted’ suspect who was released in Collier.
Also be sure to also see the earlier story from back on December 26th, One of ‘America’s Most Wanted’ may have slipped through Collier’s legal system, as it goes into some detail about how he slipped away the first two times.
Here’s an MSNBC piece on the arrest as well, Montecito man arrested in Florida on warrant for adoption scam.
Readers will also want to go explore some of the older news footage off Dawn Delorenzo’s YouTube channel. (The Delorenzos have been quoted repeatedly in relation to the the Mozes case, becoming essentially poster “children” of the scammed.)
Now all that said, my take on these events is really two-fold.
You’ve got Mozes himself, living large, apparently making off with the cash, and accused of pulling all the usual scams so common in adoption, getting potential adoptive couples to plunk down the big bucks based on photos of kids on a website, only to have the adoptions magically “fall through” at the last moment. The usual excuses are given, a parent deciding not to cede custody, a “mistake at the orphanage,” whatever.
Wanna-be-adopters spent many months being strung along, all the while Mozes is accused of extracting more and more cash. Or worse, going so far as to set the marks (the wanna-bes) up with *A* kid in another country for a few days before suddenly the ‘adoption’ again, magically “falls through.”
Who are these kids? Where do they come from? More to the point how much are their real parents or owners being paid for such services? Who the hell knows. That end of things rarely gets a thorough investigation. The adoption scam ’shows’ in other countries tend to be inexpensive productions, providing kid-props for wanna-be tourism based on pipe dreams and American dollars.
All that matters is that the presence of a kid, ANY kid in the end serves to string the wanna-bes along and is the flesh and blood crowbar that pries out more money still.
Sure, Mozes if guilty, is human scum, preying on the hopes, dreams, and pocketbooks of couples often desperate for a child, but he’s one of MANY.
Mozes is far from unique, and certainly not imaginative, those familiar with adoption scams have heard it all before. He’s simply a par for the course adoption confidence man.
All he did was what many before him have done, and I’m guessing he’s not exactly likely to be the last.
Then you’ve got the wanna-be-adopters (or WBAs.) Many of them fell in love with a picture on a website and the IDEA of a certain child that was marketed to them, and decided that after plunking down some money that these pixels on a screen now somehow equated to “their child.”
The only act of “adopting” they got in the end was having “adopted” a photograph for a time. Mozes was apparently more than happy to let multiple families “adopt” the same photograph, and collect multiple streams of income from that single picture up on a webpage. Again, nothing new here. This is more common than most wanna-bes could ever imagine.
Look through the videos in Delorenzo’s collection. You’ll find a trove of wanna-bes’ wishful thinking.
WBAs insisting that they personally had “lost three children.” By doing so, they co-opt the same sorts of descriptive terminology/language that womyn who have for example, gone through miscarriages use to describe their experiences. The wanna-bes having done nothing more than “invested” and then watched their desired outcome turn to mere mist before their eyes. The latter being a womyn whose pregnancy did not come to full term. The wanna-bes are fully in the realm of throwing money down the toilet and wishes, the miscarrying womyn on the other hand, is fully in the realm of biologically based reality.
The bottom line remains these often internet-based phantasms of children are not, and never were “their’ children.
Even wanna-bes who spent time in other countries, perhaps a week or more with a child (of undetermined origins) around a hotel, still insist that this was “their child” despite all legal realities to the contrary. Regardless of how much money they gave to Mozes these are not only are not their children, they never were. Mourning these failed adoption attempts as having lost “their children” is disingenuous. What they actually lost was their money, their time, their misplaced trust, their aspirations, their wasted efforts and their desperately desired outcome.
Mozes may well have scammed them out of many things, but not one of these wanna-be couples has been scammed out of “their” child.
More to the point, Mozes wasn’t even all that inventive. In today’s climate, such tactics are not aberrations. Even when wanna-bes have been warned about such tactics both their desires and their self image of “such could never happen to ME, I’M too smart to get suckered in like that!” tend to override their critical thinking skills.
Let’s face it, Mozes by all accounts did his the vast majority of his dirty work via the internet and the telephone. These were couples sending thousands of dollars to a man many of them had never even met.
Many of them were deep in the throes of their own failed reproductive sagas, having been through courses of attempted pregnancy, miscarriages, IVF treatments, adoption attempts, etc. On the one hand, some were no doubt ripe for the picking, on the other though, clearly basic street smarts are something that seem to go out the window when it comes to the frenzy of child desperation.
It’s remarkable how their internal bullshit detectors (if they ever even had such that is) never seem to go off when ’someone on the internet’ tells them they need to send money and then all their fondest dreams can come true.
Worse, Mozes was offering to “put kids on hold” for couples after essentially a down payment. Examining adoption law in Kazakhstan, the Ukraine and Russia, nowhere is there any provision for putting kids “on hold.” But these wanna-bes weren’t carefully examining the legal realities of adoption law in the country their phantasm potentials were allegedly coming from and how Mozes could make such outlandish promises. Instead, they viewed themselves as “investing in their families’ future” one payment at a time, assuming that this was the way such adoptions were done. Perhaps some of them were even happy to have stumbled across Mozes’ website, as unlike other agencies, for a payment, he was promising a kid would be held just for them.
The warning signs were absolutely there, but the vast majority of wanna-bes do not approach adoption (and international adoption) with an eye to the legal realities (and international law,) they approach it with visions of little white cribs and a relentless pursuit of a mythical happy-outcome-land filled with adorable tiny clothes all in pink or blue. Often the primary form their relentless pursuit takes is that of opening the proverbial checkbook.
I suppose when people feel they can just buy a kid the way they buy a washer from Sears over the net, on lay-away, with spread out payments, then none of us should be the least bit surprised when people like Mozes step right up to go build websites catering to precisely that market demand.
Sadly, a perfect symbiosis has formed between the desperate infertile and those who view their desperation as an opportunity to expand their personal fortunes.
Which is not to say I in any way think Mozes himself was all that bright a bulb either, I mean come on, speeding, along Route 75 in south Florida while on the lam…?