Legal Ethics

A Subdued Scott Rothstein Pleads Guilty in $1.2B Ponzi Scheme

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Former South Florida lawyer Scott Rothstein pleaded guilty today to all five counts against him in a $1.2 billion Ponzi scheme.

According to the South Florida Business Journal, “Rothstein looked pale and subdued—a far cry from the brash, cavalier man who threw around money and called the governor his friend.” His wife, Kim, read a statement saying it was the saddest day in her life.

On the way out of the courtroom, Kim Rothstein’s bodyguard got into a scuffle with a television soundman and knocked him to the ground, the South Florida Business Journal says.

Rothstein, 47, pleaded guilty to wire fraud, money laundering conspiracy and racketeering, according to Bloomberg and the Associated Press. 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.

Rothstein will be sentenced May 6, and could receive as much as 100 years in prison. But he may see only a 30-year sentence because of cooperation, the Miami Herald reports. His law firm, Rothstein Rosenfeldt Adler, has since dissolved, and some of its lawyers are also facing scrutiny.

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