- Lawyer who impersonated bar official in aid of law firm founder’s Ponzi scheme gets 5 years
White Collar Crime
Lawyer who impersonated bar official in aid of law firm founder’s Ponzi scheme gets 5 years
Posted May 20, 2014 4:40 PM CDT
By Martha Neil
Christina Kitterman has said she had no idea her longtime mentor, law firm founder Scott Rothstein, was involved in a $1.4 billion fraud. So she agreed to help him and the firm out by making a phone call and pretending to be the chief of the Florida Bar's office in Fort Lauderdale.
Now that phone call has resulted in a five-year federal prison term for wire fraud for the soon-to-be-disbarred lawyer, the South Florida Sun Sentinel reports.
Kitterman's lawyer had asked for probation. Federal sentencing guidelines called for a term of three to four years, and prosecutors had sought more than five years.
Even as Senior U.S. District Judge Daniel T.K. Hurley found Tuesday that Kitterman, 39, had misused her position of trust as an attorney and committed perjury at trial in her own defense, he also referred to a "monster" in the case—Rothstein, who is serving a 50-year federal prison term.
His testimony for the defense "was really chilling," the judge said. "We forget sometimes how devious, how corrupt, how far-reaching the tentacles of corruption can be."
The Palm Beach Post also has a story.
ABAJournal.com: "Former Rothstein firm lawyer convicted of aiding his fraud by impersonating state bar official"