Criminal Justice

Park memorial honoring murdered law firm partner draws fire due to jailed founder's notoriety


For years, no one apparently noticed that a park memorial for crime victims in South Florida had been paid for by a law firm now associated with a massive swindle.

Funded in honor of murdered Rothstein Rosenfeldt Adler partner Melissa Britt Lewis, the site at a Broward County nature park features granite stones with plaques naming crime victims, reports the South Florida Sun Sentinel.

The memorial was created in April 2009 and it wasn’t until later in the year that founder Scott Rothstein was arrested after briefly fleeing to Morocco. He is now serving a 50-year federal prison term for defrauding investors of some $1.2 billion and nearly 20 individuals, including Rothstein, have been convicted in criminal cases linked to his schemes. The firm went bankrupt and no longer operates.

Jill Rafilovich, a lawyer who frequents the Long Key Natural Area and Nature Center, complained last month about the plaque’s mention of RRA in a letter to Broward County Commissioner Marty Kiar, calling the RRA reference “a slap in the face to the victims.”

Kiar, also an attorney, was sympathetic and wants to explore having the county pay for a replacement plaque that includes Lewis’ name, but not RRA’s, the newspaper reports.

“It’s not like they can sue us,” Kiar said of the firm at a Tuesday commission meeting.

See also:

ABAJournal.com: “Best Friend’s Ex Charged in Florida Attorney’s Murder”

ABAJournal.com: “Man Accused of Murdering Rothstein Firm Partner Is Incompetent for Trial”

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