Authorities Charge Former Rothstein Law Partner With Conspiracy

Authorities have announced criminal charges against the remaining name partner in Rothstein Rosenfeldt Adler yet to be charged in connection with Scott Rothstein's $1.2 billion Ponzi scheme.  Stuart Rosenfeldt has been charged with one charge of conspiracy to commit campaign finance fraud, bank fraud, and violate a person's civil rights.  Notably, the charge does not suggest that Rosenfeldt was involved in or aware of his partner's massive Ponzi scheme; rather, Rosenfeldt is accused of making illegal campaign contributions to well-known politicians as well as using influence of police officers from the Broward Sheriff's office to coerce an escort into leaving Florida.  It appears that the charge was the result of extensive negotiations and cooperation with authorities, as Rosenfeldt is expected to turn himself in next week and plead guilty to the charge.

Rosenfeldt has maintained he had no involvement or awareness of Rothstein's Ponzi scheme, and the narrowed focus of the criminal charges seems to corroborate his position.  Indeed, in a civil deposition, Rothstein himself even pointed the finger at Rosenfeldt and Adler, the two name partners beside himself, saying

At various points in time, they came to know that there was a Ponzi scheme going on, although the word Ponzi was never utilized.

The remaining name partner, Russell Adler, pleaded guilty last month on similar charges that he violated federal election laws by making hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign contributions to prominent politicians including former Florida Governor Charlie Crist and Senator John McCain.  Adler could face up to five years in federal prison when he is sentenced next month.

In addition to making illegal campaign contributions, Rosenfeldt is also accused of conspiring with Rothstein to use their influence with Broward County police officers to threaten and intimidate an escort who they suspected was on the verge of disclosing her relationship with Rosenfeldt.  According to authorities, the officers illegally detained the escort and her boyfriend, deleted evidence of the relationship from the escort's phone, and later escorted the escort and her boyfriend to an airport and ordered them to return to Pennsylvania.  

According to Chuck Malkus, who has covered the Rothstein saga closely and authored the book, The Ultimate Ponzi: The Scott Rothstein Story, the arrest marks the 24th to date since Rothstein's scheme collapsed nearly five years ago.  Malkus believes that this number may keep climbing, theorizing that next up to be charged are the bankers, hedge fund feeders and possibly even elected officials."