Law Practice Management

Ex-Attorney Mulls Plea in Alleged $1.2B Scheme as Trustee Sues Firm Partner for $4M


Formerly high-flying Florida attorney Scott Rothstein is negotiating a guilty plea, his lawyer says, concerning the federal criminal charges he faces over an alleged $1.2 billion Ponzi scheme he is accused of operating while making use of the credibility conferred by his role as the managing partner of a Fort Lauderdale law firm.

There is no agreement, yet, as to the charges to which Rothstein, 47, would plead guilty, his defense counsel, Marc Nurik, tells the Miami Herald. Rothstein was disbarred by consent after the claimed scheme came to light late last year. It reportedly involved fake legal settlements sold to investors.

The U.S. Attorney’s office in Miami did not make any immediate response to the network’s request for comment by Fox News.

Rothstein pleaded not guilty last month to a five-count fraud and racketeering indictment. If convicted on all counts, he could face a 100-year prison term. A plea bargain likely would involve a lesser sentence, the articles note.

An Associated Press article provides additional details.

Meanwhile, a trustee has sued one of Rothstein’s former partners at the now-dissolving Rothstein Rosenfeldt Adler law firm, seeking $4 million in reimbursement for loans, bonuses and personal expenses, according to another Miami Herald article.

A lawyer for attorney Steven Lippman said last week, when the federal lawsuit was filed in Fort Lauderdale, that his client did nothing wrong. Lippman’s new law firm is also standing up for him.

Trustee Herbert Stettin expects to file similar litigation against other former RRA employees, says Charles Lichtman, an attorney with Berger Singerman. Lichtman filed suit against Lippman on Stettin’s behalf.

Additional coverage:

ABAJournal.com: “Filing: Rothstein Made $35M in 2008; Name Partner: I Wasn’t Paid $6M”

ABAJournal.com: “Latest Twist in Rothstein Case: Firm Loaned $35M to Lawyers & Others”

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