WEST PALM BEACH (CBSMiami/AP) — Trial got underway Monday in federal court in West Palm Beach for a former colleague of convicted Ponzi scheme operator Scott Rothstein accused of assisting him in his $1.2 billion fraud.
Prosecutors claim attorney Christina Kitterman assisted in the Rothstein fraud by lying to investors.
But Kitterman’s lawyer said she was fooled like everybody else.
Kitterman, who has her own practice now, worked at now-defunct law firm Rothstein Rosenfeldt Adler. In a 2012 civil deposition, Rothstein said Kitterman impersonated a Florida Bar official in telephone conversations with investors. She has pleaded not guilty.
Rothstein is expected to appear, in person, for testimony this week. Kitterman’s defense attorney is looking to portray Rothstein as a liar since the state’s case relies on his testimony.
Former Rothstein partner Stuart Rosenfeldt has been called by the defense to testify.
Kitterman’s attorney claims his client did what she was asked to do by Rothstein and believed that what she was asked to do was truthful.
Rothstein’s former chief operating officer, Debra Villegas, has been called by the prosecution. Villegas is serving 10 years in prison for her role in the scheme.
Rothstein is serving a 50-year prison sentence for his scam, which involved investments in phony legal settlements. He has agreed with prosecutors to testify in various legal matters in hopes of getting his sentence reduced.
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