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Fla. Deputies Face Criminal Charges In Connection To Rothstein

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FORT LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami/AP) —  Prosecutors filed criminal conspiracy charges Friday against two suspended Broward deputies with ties to convicted Ponzi schemer Scott Rothstein.

When Rothstein’s billion dollar Ponzi scheme fell apart, he did not go down alone.

So far, 20 people are facing charges. The latest two are BSO deputies Lt. David Benjamin and Detective Jeff Poole.

“As the of the filing of today’s charges, both Lt. Benjamin and Det. Poole have been terminated from employment with the Broward Sheriff’s Office,” said Broward Sheriff Scott Israel.

Sheriff Israel fired them both.

“Anytime a law officer abuses public trust, it hurts all of us, all of us,” said Israel.

The two are accused of arresting the estranged wife of a friend of Rothstein’s on trumped-up drug charges. Rothstein allegedly orchestrated the arrest to help his friend during a nasty child custody hearing.

Poole’s attorney said his client was just following orders given by his superior, Lt. Benjamin.

“My client never spoke to Rothstein, didn’t know him. With a broad brush could you paint a conspiracy? Perhaps, but he’s not part of that. He followed the orders of a supervising officer,” said Poole’s Attorney Michael Gottlieb.

Benjamin is also accused of driving Rothstein to the airport when he fled as the Ponzi scheme unraveled. The federal indictment said, for his role, Benjamin received $185 thousand dollars in cash and gifts.

Malkus said in the coming months, we should expect even more arrests.

“In this white-collar crime, the co-conspirator are flipping and they’re flipping like dominoes and once they get charged and put in jail, then they sing like canaries,” said Malkus.

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