White-Collar Crime

Another lawyer takes plea in connection to $1.2B fraud by now-disbarred attorney Scott Rothstein

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Another South Florida lawyer has taken a plea in connection with the massive $1.2 billion fraud by now-disbarred attorney Scott Rothstein.

Douglas Bates, 55, pleaded guilty to wire fraud conspiracy Thursday in federal court in West Palm Beach, the Sun Sentinel reports.

Federal prosecutors have said that he helped the then-managing partner of the now-shuttered Rothstein Rosenfeldt Adler firm with a Ponzi scheme by providing fraudulent or factually untrue documents and opinion letters on his law firm letterhead.

An indictment last year said that Bates, while working as a partner of the Law Offices of Koppel and Bates, drafted letters falsely claiming to have settled fictitious litigation in RRA’s favor and that Bates represented investors with a business plan to purchase confidential settlements from Rothstein. These documents, the feds say, supported Rothstein’s claims to investors that he had the ability to sell, at a discount, pending funds from sexual harassment and whistleblower suits.

Rothstein is now serving 50-year federal prison term under the witness protection program. Other lawyers who have been convicted in connection with his $1.2 billion scheme include former RRA attorney Christina Kitterman, who was found guilty by a federal court jury earlier this month of aiding his fraud by impersonating a state bar official, and Scott Saidel, who helped Rothstein’s wife hide jewelry and other assets obtained with money from his fraud.

An earlier Sun Sentinel article gives additional details about the case against Bates and his personal injury practice.

See also:

ABAJournal.com: “Now-Disbarred Lawyer Who Helped Top Partner Scott Rothstein Defraud Client of $57M Gets 2 Years”

ABAJournal.com: “Ex-Lawyer Steven Lippman Gets 3 Years, Says Ex-Partner Scott Rothstein ‘Played Me Like a Fool’”

ABAJournal.com: “Former Gen’l Counsel David Boden is Target of $37.8M Rothstein Law Firm Clawback Suit”

ABAJournal.com: “Federal Judge Sanctions Law Firm and Client re Withheld Docs, Finds TD Bank Knew of Rothstein Fraud”

Updated at 5:15 p.m. to link to additional Sun Sentinel coverage.

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