11th Circuit OKs wire-fraud conviction of lawyer who impersonated state bar official
A former lawyer who, while still in practice, impersonated a Florida Bar official during a 2009 conference call with her boss and mentor, then-attorney Scott Rothstein, says she had no idea he was operating a $1.4 billion Ponzi scheme.
But Christina Kitterman’s argument that she lacked the intent to commit wire fraud didn’t persuade the Atlanta-based 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. In a Wednesday opinion (PDF), it affirmed her conviction.
Intent could be inferred, the court said, depending on whose testimony was most believable, because Kitterman may have known that some “investors” in Rothstein’s schemes were also participating in the call. Plus, regardless of the purpose, impersonating a bar official in and of itself was a crime, the three-judge appellate panel pointed out.
Federal prosecutors argued that the conference call helped keep the Rothstein scheme alive at a time when it was teetering on the brink of discovery.
Kitterman was the only defendant among dozens in criminal cases linked to Rothstein to take her case to trial, according to the newspaper. Rothstein, who was tried and convicted separately, is serving a 50-year sentence, and both he and Kitterman have been disbarred.
Gossip Extra: “Author: Scott Rothstein Angling For Steep Reduction of Sentence … Could be Free in 2020?”
Sun Sentinel: “Pimp with links to Rothstein scandal sentenced to prison “