Posted Feb 09, 2010 12:21 pm CST
Fort Lauderdale, Fla., lawyer Russell Adler, a name partner in convicted lawyer Scott Rothstein’s firm, was slapped with a $1.2 million suit filed by bankruptcy attorneys who claim the money is part of Rothstein’s massive investment scam.
The complaint alleges that Adler and his wife used $475,000 of the money in question to buy a Manhattan co-op apartment in August, just two months before the Ponzi scheme was revealed and the law firm collapsed, the Miami Herald reports.
Among the allegations are that the now-dissolving firm Rothstein Rosenfeldt Adler made salary “overpayments” of nearly $580,000 to Adler and made $655,000 in “unpaid loans” to him and his wife.
A lawyer for Adler, Fred Haddad, said Adler was in the dark about Rothstein’s improprieties and that Adler earned everything he was paid.
But lawyer Charles Lichtman, whose firm is handling the bankruptcy case, told the Herald that Adler enjoyed the fruits of the scheme with “dramatic overpayment of compensation, especially compared to what his business generation was and how the firm was doing.”
“Law firms aren’t in the business of buying condos for their partners,” Lichtman told the Herald.
In January, Rothstein pleaded guilty to wire fraud, money laundering conspiracy and racketeering in a $1.2 billion Ponzi scheme. The former law firm partner was accused of using his law firm as a racketeering enterprise when he told investors they were buying discounted stakes in sexual harassment and whistle-blower lawsuits.
Miami Herald: “Complaint seeks $4M from lawyer in Scott Rothstein firm”
ABAJournal.com: “Investors Sue to Force Rothstein Law Firm Into Involuntary Bankruptcy”