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White-Collar Crime

3rd name partner of law firm shuttered by founder’s $1.4B swindle takes plea in felony case

Posted Jun 12, 2014 3:43 PM CDT
By Martha Neil

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A trifecta of felony convictions looms for a once-prominent South Florida law firm, following a guilty plea in federal court in Miami on Wednesday by Stuart Rosenfeldt.

The 59-year-old is the third of three former name partners of the bankrupt Rothstein Rosenfeldt Adler firm to take a plea in a felony case. Rosenfeldt pleaded guilty to criminal conspiracy, admitting that he had played a role in a conspiracy that involved bank fraud, illegal political campaign donations and civil rights violations while working for the now-shuttered Fort Lauderdale law firm, the Sun Sentinel reports.

Before it imploded over the revelation of a $1.4 billion swindle for which disbarred name partner Scott Rothstein is now serving a 50-year federal prison term, RRA had as many as 70 lawyers on its attorney roster, and Rosenfeldt was a well-regarded labor practitioner.

As a number of other lawyers who worked for RRA have also done, Rosenfeldt expressed regret, through his defense attorney, at having been led astray by the charismatic Rothstein. He nodded emphatically as attorney Bruce Lehr said his client, if he could go back in time, would "steer very clear of Mr. Rothstein—something that thousands of people in South Florida would do if they had it to do over again," the newspaper reports.

The third name partner, Russell Adler, pleaded guilty in April to a single felony count of conspiracy to violate the Federal Election Campaign Act and defraud the U.S. government, according to an FBI press release and the Miami Herald (sub. req.).

Prosecutors said he accepted law firm reimbursement for some $200,000 in contributions to prominent Republican campaigns, thus circumventing legal limits on the amount a single donor is allowed to contribute.

Adler is scheduled to be sentenced later this month, and Rosenfeldt's sentencing is scheduled for September. Both men, as well as Rothstein, have agreed to cooperate in an ongoing federal investigation.

Additional and related coverage:

ABAJournal.com: "Former law firm CFO charged in $1.2B swindle is 18th to face a criminal case, feds say"

ABAJournal.com: "3 new pleas linked to ex-law firm chief serving 50 years in $1.2B swindle; 20th conviction now looms"

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