A former law associate of convicted Ponzi swindler Scott Rothstein was sentenced to serve five years in federal prison for assisting Rothstein by impersonating a Florida Bar official during a call with investors. Christina Kitterman, 39, received the sentence from U.S. District Judge Daniel T. Hurley after a six-hour sentencing hearing, and was immediately taken into custody. A federal jury took less than two hours to convict Kitterman, who was the only defendant to stand trial of the numerous individuals that have faced charges for their ties to Rothstein.
Kitterman was indicted last summer, along with south Florida attorney Douglas Bates, on charges that she was a participant in Rothstein's scheme while employed as an attorney at his former firm, Rothstein Rosenfeldt Adler ("RRA"). There, according to authorities, Kitterman agreed to participate in a meeting with Rothstein investors posing as a Florida Bar official, telling investors that Rothstein's bank accounts had been frozen as the result of a pending bar association. The ensuing trial drew widespread attention due to Kitterman's request to have Rothstein testify - a decision that was generally not observed to have bolstered her defense. In his testimony, Rothstein claimed that he and Kitterman had a "friends with benefits" relationship and that Kitterman was aware of her actions in assisting him.
After a jury convicted her of three counts of wire fraud, Judge Hurley suggested that Kitterman may have committed perjury during her trial testimony by claiming that she did not identify herself as the Florida Bar president during the phone call. If true, Kitterman was warned that she could face a sentencing enhancement. That prediction bore true at today's sentencing hearing, where Judge Hurley noted that his original sentencing calculation has placed Kitterman's term at 3-4 years. However, Kitterman was given a five-year sentence after factoring in her perjury and her abuse of trust as an attorney. Prosecutors had indicated they were seeking a sentence of up to nine years in prison.
There is no parole in the federal prison system, and inmates generally serve 80% - 85% of their sentence when accounting for credit for good behavior. Judge Hurley allowed Kitterman to enter into a substance abuse program, which could potentially reduce her sentence by up to one year. Kitterman also indicated that she had entered into a tentative agreement withe Florida Bar to surrender her law license on the condition that she could apply for reinstatement in five years. That arrangement is subject to approval by the Florida Supreme Court.