FORT LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami) – Kim Rothstein, the wife of convicted Ponzi schemer Scott Rothstein, is expected to plead guilty on February 1 to attempting to hide over $1 million in jewelry from federal authorities, according to one of Rothstein’s attorney David Kotler.
Kotler told CBS4 that Rothstein and two co-defendants will enter a change of plea during a change of plea hearing in February. Rothstein is accused in the crime along with her former attorney Scott Saidel and friend Stacie Weisman, according to the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.
According to the Sun-Sentinel, Rothstein will plead guilty to the charge of conspiracy to commit money laundering, obstruct justice, and tamper with a witness.
Federal authorities said that on November 9, 2009, agents went to the Rothstein residence where Kim helped them retrieve what was believed to be all of the available cash, jewelry, and luxury watches which had been purchased with proceeds from Scott’s Ponzi scheme.
The Justice Department said that before and after the seizure Kim Rothstein, Weisman, and Saidel “knowingly took action conceal certain iems of jewelry valued in excess of one million dollars for the purpose of preventing the government from exercising its authority to take such property into its lawful custody and control.”
Federal agents said Kim and Weisman then sold and attempted to sell a portion of the jewelry to and through various people.
The Justice Department also said that in civil proceedings instituted by the bankruptcy trustee, “all of the defendants took steps to obstruct justice by concealing the true location of certain items of jewelry in order to prevent its availability for use in those proceedings.
Rothstein faces up to five years in prison on the single federal charge she will plead guilty to in February.
The guilty plea may be one of the final convictions in the massive Ponzi scheme orchestrated by Scott Rothstein. All total, Rothstein’s Ponzi scheme was $1.4 billion, the largest such fraud in South Florida history.