Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Rothstein expected to plead guilty in scheme

Scott Rothstein will soon plead guilty to running a $1 billion-plus investment racket that could send him to prison for 30 years to life.

The disbarred lawyer, who pleaded not guilty in early December to conspiracy, fraud and money laundering charges, is expected to tell a federal judge today in Fort Lauderdale that he wants to change his plea.

"We are in the process of finalizing a plea agreement," Marc Nurik, Rothstein's attorney, told the Miami Herald Tuesday.

U.S. District Judge James Cohn will set a date for Rothstein, 47, to plead guilty in coming weeks, to be followed by his sentencing a few months later — capping the biggest investment fraud case in South Florida history.

Rothstein has been cooperating with authorities as they build cases against members of his inner circle and now-defunct Fort Lauderdale law firm.

He is accused of executing a $1.2 billion Ponzi scam by selling bogus legal settlements to wealthy investors — including five hedge funds that sank $775 million in the deals.

The investment scandal broke in late October as hedge fund operator George Levin reported to the U.S. Attorney's Office that Rothstein had failed to make good on investors' latest distribution payments from the purported settlements in employment and other civil cases.

Rothstein is accused of laundering hundreds of millions of dollars to support the lifestyle of a tycoon. According to the government's seizure list of Rothstein's property, he owned more than a dozen homes, along with 21 flashy cars such as Ferraris and an 87-foot yacht.

Eager to rub shoulders with power brokers, Rothstein, his law firm Rothstein Rosenfeldt Adler, his wife, Kimberly, and other colleagues gave about $2.2 million in campaign contributions to Gov. Charlie Crist, the McCain-Palin presidential ticket and other prominent politicians.

Lawyers and executives who worked with Rothstein are under scrutiny as FBI and IRS agents try to determine who knew what, and when.

Rothstein expected to plead guilty in scheme 01/05/10 [Last modified: Tuesday, January 5, 2010 9:21pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Conservatives come to Sessions' defense amid Trump attacks


    WASHINGTON — Congressional Republicans and influential conservatives rallied around Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Wednesday as President Donald Trump kept up his public pelting of the nation's top law enforcement officer and left his future in doubt.

    Attorney General Jeff Sessions
  2. Jones: Alex Cobb proves again why he's Rays' stopper, no matter how long he's here

    The Heater


    If a team hopes to hang around the pennant race, they better have an ace. A stopper. A pitcher they can count on every fifth day to stop the bleeding, keep a winning streak going or flat-out win a game that a team flat-out needs to win.

    Rays starting pitcher Alex Cobb (53) throwing the first inning. [WILL VRAGOVIC   |   Times]
  3. Why did Debbie Wasserman Schultz keep paying tech expert suspected of stealing House computers?


    The following is from the Miami Herald:

  4. GOP senators blink on a big chance to repeal 'Obamacare'


    WASHINGTON — After seven years of emphatic campaign promises, Senate Republicans demonstrated Wednesday they don't have the stomach to repeal "Obamacare" when it really counts, as the Senate voted 55-45 to reject legislation undoing major portions of Barack Obama's law without replacing it.

    U.S. Sen. Majority Whip John Cornyn (R-TX) talks with reporters as he walks to the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday in Washington, DC. [Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images]
  5. Rick Baker's debate answer revives painful St. Pete controversy


    ST. PETERSBURG — Former Mayor Bill Foster fired one of his top administrators, Goliath Davis III, six years ago for disobeying an order to attend the funeral of a slain police officer.

    St. Petersburg police officers stand by two caskets before the beginning of the 2011 funeral services for Sgt. Thomas Baitinger and Officer Jeffrey Yaslowitz at the First Baptist Church of St. Petersburg. [DIRK SHADD   |  Times]