Posted Apr 09, 2012 03:28 pm CDT
Updated: A former partner of a disbarred South Florida lawyer who is now serving a hefty prison term has been federally indicted in an alleged conspiracy to commit bank fraud and break election laws.
Steven Lippman, 49, is also accused of having defrauded the Internal Revenue Service by conspiring with Rothstein to reimburse Lippman for personal expenses from law firm funds, under the pretext that they were business expenses, thus reducing Lippman’s taxable income, according to CBS Miami and Bob Norman’s Blog on WPLG.
The articles don’t include any comment from Lippman or his legal counsel. However, a subsequent Bloomberg story says Lippman’s lawyer, Bruce Zimet, told the news agency that “the charges speak for themselves” and emphasized that his client was not a participant in the $1.2 billion Ponzi scheme for which Rothstein is now serving a 50-year prison sentence.
The government contends that Lippman, a nonequity partner in the now-shuttered Rothstein Rosenfeldt Adler, helped the Fort Lauderdale law firm increase its influence by serving as a straw donor for political funding for which he was then illegally reimbursed. He allegedly received not only money in return but other things of value, including home renovations and a Maserati.
“The breadth, scope, and sheer complexity of Rothstein’s $1.2 billion Ponzi scheme is mind-boggling,” said U.S. Attorney Wifredo Ferrer in a written statement on Monday. “Its success depended, in no small part, on the complicity of his colleagues and associates, like Steven Lippman.”
An Orlando Sentinel article provides additional details.
ABAJournal.com: “Ex-Attorney Mulls Plea in Alleged $1.2B Scheme as Trustee Sues Firm Partner for $4M”
ABAJournal.com: “Trustee Sues Rothstein Partner for $10M, Alleges Charges for Jewelry, Home Repairs & Reptiles”
Last updated at 2:02 p.m. to include Bloomberg information.