WEST PALM BEACH (CBSMiami) – A former associate of convicted Ponzi scheme operator Scott Rothstein has been found guilty of fraud.
Closing arguments in Christina Kitterman’s trial were Tuesday morning and it took the jury just over two hours to convict her on three counts of wire fraud, according to the Sun-Sentinel.
At Rothstein’s request, Kitterman reportedly impersonated Florida Bar official Adria Quintela in 2009 during a phone call to investors to keep his $1.4 billion scam alive.
During her testimony Monday, Kitterman admitted pretending to be Quintela during the call, but denied any fraudulent intent. She told the jury she really thought she was helping him help the firm.
She also denied any knowledge of the billion dollar fraud.
Prosecutors said Kitterman was a willing participant in the scam. They also pointed to her addiction problems in the past.
Kitterman told the jury she was embarrassed by the drug addiction in the past and that Rothstein was very supportive when she returned to work. She said he even threatened to fire anyone at the firm who spoke negatively about her.
Kitterman’s testimony was in sharp contrast to that given by her former boss who was called to the stand last week by her attorney as a defense witness.
Kitterman’s attorney, Valentin Rodriguez Jr., called put Rothstein before the jury in hopes of showing them that he was a manipulative individual who had fooled Kitterman just like everyone else.
Also last week, prosecutors showed the jury emails and phone call records between Rothstein and Kitterman the day she allegedly posed as Quintela. In an email to Kitterman, Rothstein mentions Quintela’s name and urged Kitterman 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, 51, spent hours answering questions about Kitterman’s activities at his firm and her alleged involvement in the Ponzi scam. Rothstein described Kitterman as a team player who willingly participated in the felonies she was accused of committing. He added that she was well aware of his involvement in many kinds of illegal activity, according to the Sun-Sentinel.
However, Rothstein admitted that he did not tell her they were going to cheat anyone, he only asked her to lie.
Rothstein added that he has helped investigators get all of the money back to all the investors involved in the scheme.
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.
Kitterman denied these claims during her time on the stand.
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.
Kitterman will remain free on her existing $250,000 bond pending her sentencing. A sentencing date has not yet been set.