Lawyer gets 3 years in $1.35M investment fraud; some of the money helped him run for judicial office
A onetime Georgia judge was sentenced Friday to more than three years in federal prison for defrauding investors of $1.35 million.
Authorities say former part-time DeKalb Recorder’s Court Judge Michael Rothenberg used the money to fund an unsuccessful campaign for a seat on the DeKalb County Superior Court, as well as to pay personal expenses, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and the Stone Mountain-Lithonia Patch. An FBI press release provides further details.
Rothenberg, who worked part-time as a recorder’s court judge, also founded a small law firm in Atlanta, notes Heneghan’s Dunwoody Blog.
Authorities said Rothenberg persuaded the owners of WinterHawk Energy and Development Corporation to give him the $1.35 million, promising to put the money into a trust account and use it to purchase sophisticated bank instruments. He allegedly fabricated bank statements to support his claims.
Following his 41-month prison term, Rothenberg will be on supervised release for three years and must pay restitution of $800,000.