Law office of south florida lawyer raided by feds
Posted on November 05, 2009 3:00 AM EST
Fort Lauderdale and Miami criminal lawyer, Scott Rothstein is mired in a federal investigation that can land him a lengthy jail sentence. Federal law enforcement authorities believe they have a new multi-million scheme to defraud on their hands. On Wednesday, FBI and IRS agents raided the Ft. Lauderdale law office of Rothstein, Rosenfeldt and Adler seizing documents, computers and other records that will most likely lead to the uncovering of the latest "Ponzi" scheme to hit the Miami and South Florida area. Rothstein has hired a notable South Florida and Miami fraud lawyer
to represent him during the investigation.
Federal authorities suspect Rothstein of being the mastermind behind a fraud that could eventually lead to the loss of hundreds of millions of dollars. Rothstein is under investigation for grand theft, money laundering
, wire fraud and mail fraud. The latest report has Rothstein cooperating with the authorities in an attempt to help himself by revealing other participants in the scheme to defraud. Not only is Rothstein accused of wiping out investors, but also his Broward County law firm. One of the partners told reporters that the 70 member firm has only $117,000 in the operating account.
Investigators believe that Rothstein sold fraudulent lawsuit settlements to investors and stole money from client's trust funds, as well as, from the firm's operational account. The other partners claim to have no knowledge of the massive fraud allegedly perpetrated by their partner. They claim that Rothstein had sole control of the firm's operational and trust accounts. The federal investigation will reveal what other individuals may or may not have been involved at the firm.
As news of the fraud began to break, Rothstein traveled to Morocco. He texted his partners from overseas stating, "I am a fool. I thought I could fix it, but got trapped by my ego and refusal to fail and now all I have accomplished is hurting people I love." Undoubtedly, federal prosecutors will use this statement against him if he is prosecuted in federal court. Any Miami fraud lawyer
will tell you, do not make any statements to anyone including text messages and e-mails because they will be used against you in any prosecution.
Adler, one of the named partners has hired a Broward criminal lawyer
to represent his interests in the case. Rothstein is a high-profile Broward lawyer, who lived a lavish lifestyle and donated large sums of money to charities and politicians. Reports indicate that Rothstein owned millions of dollars in automobile and jewelry. Many wonder how Rothstein could have pulled off such a large scheme to defraud without his partners of the firm becoming aware of it.
Federal Agents Raids Scott Rothstein's Law Offices, The Miami Herald, November 5, 2009.