FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla., July 1 (UPI) -- Lawyers seeking damages for the victims of admitted Ponzi schemer Scott Rothstein must wait until December to question him, a judge in Florida ruled Friday.
Rothstein, sentenced to 50 years in prison for his crimes, is in protective custody and cooperating with prosecutors. U.S. District Judge James Cohn refused to shield him from questioning entirely in civil cases involving his fraud but granted a prosecution request for a delay, the South Florida Sun Sentinel reported.
Until his empire came crashing down, Rothstein appeared to be one of South Florida's most successful lawyers. His firm, which employed 70 lawyers, had offices in Boca Raton, Miami, West Palm Beach, Fort Lauderdale and Tallahassee as well as New York and Caracas and had major corporate clients.
When he pleaded guilty, Rothstein admitted the law firm was kept afloat through an investment business that he used to steal millions of dollars.
Prosecutors argued questioning Rothstein could jeopardize ongoing investigations. Cohn scheduled depositions for the week of Dec. 12.