Fraudster's uncle sentenced to four years

Oct. 4, 2012 at 2:06 PM
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MIAMI, Oct. 4 (UPI) -- A federal judge has sentenced William Boockvor, uncle of Florida Ponzi schemer Scott Rothstein, to four years in prison for helping his nephew dupe investors.

U.S. District Judge Daniel Hurley also ordered Boockvor to pay $166 million in restitution.

The South Florida Sun Sentinel said Boockvor, 67, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud under an agreement that he spend no more than five years in prison.

The judge lowered the prison time to acknowledge Boockvor's cooperation with prosecutors, the newspaper said.

"I apologize for having to be here at all and I'm very sorry for what happened," Boockvor said at the sentencing.

Former attorney Rothstein is serving a 50-year prison sentence for running the Ponzi scheme that cheated investors of an estimated $1.4 billion.

It is the largest fraud in South Florida history, the newspaper said.

Prosecutors said Boockvor's role in the scheme was to help his nephew create fraudulent bank papers that Rothstein would use to dupe investors into believing they were investing in a solvent company.

Boockvor's cooperation was pivotal in helping lawyers reach a $170 million pretrial settlement with TD Bank, which Rothstein used as a base of operations.

Bank officials would give investors fraudulent papers Boockvor created, the newspaper reported. Rothstein also used a conference room at the bank where he would meet with investors with an accomplice posing as a bank official.

Boockvor "showed this fraud was widespread in TD Bank," said attorney Reid Cocalis, whose firm represented investors in a lawsuit against the bank.

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