Posted Jun 27, 2012 04:25 pm CDT
A disbarred South Florida attorney who is serving a hefty prison term for masterminding the state’s biggest swindle says some lawyers at his former Fort Lauderdale law firm, but not others, had knowledge of his wrongdoing.
In recently released transcripts of his deposition testimony, Scott Rothstein says he himself lied to investors about nonexistent structured settlements in sex-abuse litigation against billionaire Jeffrey Epstein, in order to persuade them to purchase the purported future income stream in exchange for a smaller lump-sum present-day payment to the plaintiff. Such “investments” in fictitious settlements reportedly were at the core of the estimated $1.2 billion fraud for which Rothstein is now serving a 50-year sentence, at an undisclosed location, under the federal witness protection program. His most recent deposition testimony was via videoconference.
Rothstein said the Rothstein Rosenfeldt Adler attorney representing plaintiffs in such suits against Epstein was unaware that he was showing the files to others, reports the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.
“I took advantage of some good, innocent people for my own and my co-conspirator’s illegal purposes,” said Rothstein, referring to his former partner, Bradley Edwards, who is now being civilly sued by Epstein. “Mr. Edwards is one of them, and for that I am sorry, Brad.”
However, Rothstein contended that the Rothstein firm’s general counsel, David Boden, was aware that something was amiss with nonexistent settlements purportedly being sold to investors, citing a conspicuous lack of files, actual in-person plaintiffs and conflict checks, as well as last-minute document preparation immediately prior to the purported execution of signatures, reports the South Florida Business Journal.
Boden’s lawyer, Alan Ross, told the business publication that his client vehemently denies Rothstein’s “totally false” retaliatory allegations and, in fact, blew the whistle to alert federal authorities of Rothstein’s fraud.
ABAJournal.com: “Imprisoned Ex-Attorney Says Cash Bribes, Call Girls at Law Firm Condo Aided $1.2B Ponzi Scheme”
ABAJournal.com: “Sun-Sentinel: Steven Lippman, Ex-Partner in Rothstein Firm, Will Take Plea in Conspiracy Case”
South Florida Business Journal: “Rothstein transcripts: How he funded Versace mansion “
Sun-Sentinel: “Rothstein: I used a cop ‘in a position of power’”