Skip to main content

Convicted Ponzi scheme architect may implicate others

 Over two grueling weeks, convicted Florida Ponzi schemer Scott Rothstein laid out in incriminating detail how far the tentacles stretched in his $1.2 billion fraud, pointing the finger at numerous lawyers, bankers, business people, relatives, friends and unnamed law enforcement officials and politicians.

The testimony, made public in hundreds of pages of transcripts, could form the outline of another wave of indictments that federal prosecutors have been promising for months. Rothstein, a 49-year-old disbarred lawyer, was questioned in December by about 30 attorneys representing investors who lost money and some people who could face charges.

Rothstein, whose scam involved supposedly lucrative investments in phony legal settlements, was testifying in several lawsuits arising from the implosion of his Ponzi scheme and bankruptcy of the once high-flying law firm Rothstein Rosenfeldt Adler.

He insisted throughout the deposition that he was telling the complete truth in hopes that a federal judge will shave time off his 50-year prison sentence. Rothstein initially fled to Morocco with $15 million when the scam imploded in fall 2009 and considered suicide, but said he had a change of heart.

“I made a decision to come back, turn myself in, go to prison and tell the government everything I knew about everyone else that had committed crimes,” Rothstein testified. “And everything about my crimes.”