WEST PALM BEACH (CBSMiami) – Convicted Ponzi scheme operator Scott Rothstein returned to the stand in federal court in West Palm Beach in the wire fraud trial of a former colleague.
Christina Kitterman, who once worked for Rothstein at his Ft. Lauderdale law firm Rothstein Rosenfeldt Adler, is accused of assisting her former boss in in his $1.4 billion fraud.
Kitterman is accused of impersonating a Florida Bar official in telephone conversations with investors. She has pleaded not guilty.
During Thursday proceedings, prosecutors showed the jury emails and phone call records between Rothstein and Kitterman the day she allegedly posed as Andria Quintela, the head of the Florida Bar’s Fort Lauderdale office, on a conference call with the hedge fund representatives, according to The Sun-Sentinel.
In an email to Kitterman, Rothstein mentions Quintela’s and urged her to talk like a tough prosecutor from the Bar.
Witnesses from the hedge fund testified that they believed it was Quintela on the call. They could not, however, if Kitterman had introduced herself as Quintela or not.
Rothstein testified that Kitterman either introduced herself as Quintela on the call or that Rothstein did so while she was on the call, according to the paper.
On Wednesday, Rothstein spent six hours answering questions about Kitterman’s activities at his firm and her alleged involvement in the Ponzi scam. He was called by the defense which hoped to show him as manipulative and that he fooled Kitterman just like everybody else.
However, in his testimony, Rothstein described Kitterman as a team player who willingly participated in the felonies she’s accused of committing, according to The Sun-Sentinel.
Rothstein told the jury they both faked emails and other documents to fool a client into thinking she had done work she had failed to perform.
He added that she was well aware of his involvement in many kinds of illegal activity, according to the paper.
However, Rothstein said he did not tell her they were going to cheat anyone, he only asked her to lie.
Kitterman’s attorney, Valentin Rodriguez Jr., accused him of lying.
Rothstein, who was on the stand for much of the day, 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.
Rothstein said it would not be in his best interest to lie since it could be disproved by documented evidence.
Rothstein also testified he had an on again-off again a sexual relationship with Kitterman, a friends with benefits sort of arrangement.
“I loved her and cared about her and I believed she loved me and cared about me,” Rothstein testified.
In addition to answering questions about his relationship with Kitterman, Rothstein also boasted of buying influence with law enforcement and politicians.
“He admitted that he was responsible for judges sitting on the bench today,” said Chuck Malkus has written a book on the rise and fall of Rothstein’s scheme entitled “The Ultimate Ponzi: The Scott Rothstein Story.
“I stole from the rich and gave to the richer,” Rothstein told the jury.
Rothstein added that he has helped investigators get all of the money back to all the investors involved in the scheme.