Scott Rothstein, the south Florida lawyer at the firm Rothstein Rosenfeldt Adler, has been in federal prison for two years, and in that time the local legal community had been abuzz with speculation other local attorneys would eventually face charges in connection with Rothstein's massive Ponzi scheme, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel reported.
Two of Rothstein's former associates at the firm, attorneys Christina Kitterman and Douglas Bates, were charged Friday for allegedly helping Rothstein defraud investors who thought they were purchasing sealed cash settlements in sexual harassment cases.
U.S. Attorney Wilfredo A. Ferrer said Bates, 54, participated in the investment scheme by telling potential Rothstein victims about other clients referred to Rothstein. Kitterman, 38, posed as the head of Florida's bar association on a phone call with investors to explain why some of the investments hadn't come to fruition because the state had "frozen" some of the accounts.
Lawyers representing Kitterman and Bates said their clients deny the charges and, like others Rothstein swindled, the two were victims of the scheme, not accomplices.
Bates is charged with three counts of wire fraud and a count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud. Kitterman faces a single count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, which could carry a 20-year prison sentence.
Should either of the two choose to fight the charges in court it could result in Rothstein being forced to testify in open court. He gave a deposition as part of a deal struck with prosecutors to help shave time off his 50-year sentence -- and in that deposition names Bates as "a lawyer who was involved in a significant amount of illegal activity with me."
Bates and Kitterman are free on $250,000 bond.
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