San Diego reporters from ABC Team 10 pursued Steve Liss for some answers. It isn’t the first time Liss has come face to face with a television news crew.
In San Diego, Liss has earned notoriety as a local con man.
Yes, this is the same man who tried to allegedly solicit a “murder-for-hire scheme” aimed at his wife. Eventually, the District Attorney’s office dropped the case due to a lack of evidence.
But let’s fast forward to a couple days ago.
Team 10 found Liss, a disbarred attorney, and wanted answers about him seeking egg donors and surrogates which appeared to be another suspected scam.
Reporter, Mitch Blacher, caught up with Liss.
“There’s a woman in Idaho,” Blacher said, keeping up the pace with Liss hurriedly walking in San Diego. “You took her $7,500, after promising her a baby – why don’t you give her money back?”
For those who have followed Liss over the years, he goes by different aliases, and occasionally, hangs a shingle along the San Diego coastline for a new business venture.
The woman in Idaho spoke to Team 10 but only did so if they did not use her last name.
Team 10 complied.
The woman had undergone heartache following the birth of her stillborn baby, they reported. Such sadness and grief prompted her to look into adoption.
Melissa told reporters, “It actually sounded like a great opportunity,” referring to hiring Liss.
The news report went on to say, “Liss took advantage of her when she was at an emotional vulnerable point. She said Liss took her money, but never was able to adopt a baby through his business.”
To date, she has not received any of her money back.
And there’s more.
Team 10 also talked to another woman with a complaint against Liss by the name of Andrea Zelones. Liss wanted her as his administrative assistant for his business. Zelones did her homework on Google to see what she could find.
“I went, ‘Oh my goodness,’” Zelones told the news team.
They reported, “She found several past Team 10 stories on Liss, including when his attorney’s license was revoked by the California Bar Association. His license was revoked for cheating clients in many different cases, including divorce and adoptions.”
Zelones told Team 10 that Liss claimed his business was successful in creating new families through surrogacy.
She told reporters, “He says he places hundreds of ads a week, looking for surrogates and donors.”
This revelation led researchers at the newsroom to dig a little more and this is what they found.
“Because he is disbarred, it is illegal for Liss to advertise a family law practice, but that is what Team 10 found him doing. This is what led Team 10 to his most recent office in Pacific Beach,” they said.
When Blacher started asking questions about the woman in Idaho and his apparent surrogacy business, Liss didn’t give any response. Instead, he allegedly assaulted the reporter to obtain the camera recording him.
The scene then escalated, according to Team 10.
“As Blacher followed him and continued to ask questions, Liss swung a bag filled with garbage at the reporter. The bag opened, and spilled litter on the road. Liss picked it all up, and then kept walking through someone’s personal property to get to an alley to get away from Team 10.”
And yes, Team 10 filed a police report.
A spokesperson from the district attorney’s office has been made aware of the latest Liss developments and is researching the case.
Before Liss was disbarred, NBC San Diego reported some time ago that he was admitted into the bar in 1987, specializing in adoptions and family law. Eric S. Page went on to write, “State bar association records reveal that Liss has been disciplined for failure to perform competent legal services and failure to promptly refund unearned legal fees,….”
News coverage like this is an opportunity to reiterate how to find reputable representation.
While there are a few avenues to find the right surrogate and reproductive attorney, teaming up with a reputable egg donor and surrogate agency is the first step. Agencies in good standing will know attorneys who are licensed in particular states and familiar with the domestic and international laws pertaining to gestational surrogacy.
In many ways, finding the right attorney is equally as important as finding the right surrogate to carry your baby.