FORT LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami) – The former law partner of convicted Ponzi schemer Scott Rothstein is a facing federal charge of conspiracy.
The United States Attorney’s Office announced late Thursday that they have charged Stuart Rosenfledt with conspiracy to commit campaign finance fraud, bank fraud and to violate a person’s civil rights.
Rosenfeldt is expected to turn himself in sometime next week and his lawyer, Bruce Lehr, tells CBS 4 News that Rosenfeldt is expected to plead guilty in the coming weeks.
According to investigators Rosenfeldt made large campaign contributions to high profile candidates like John McCain and Charlie Crist and was reimbursed with money from the law firm. That is illegal.
Investigators also say that Rosenfeldt and Rothstein conspired to have law enforcement officers with the Broward Sheriff’s Office detain, search and intimidate an escort who Rosenfeldt was having an affair with and her boyfriend after they threatened to expose Rosenfeldt’s behavior.
According to the information filed in federal court, the Broward Sheriff’s Officers — at the direction of Rosenfeldt and Rothstein — searched the residence of the escort and her boyfriend, restrained the boyfriend by placing him in handcuffs and removed evidence from the escort’s phone that was evidence of her relationship with Rosenfeldt. The feds also say that the BSO officers took the escort and her boyfriend to the airport and instructed them to “return to Pennsylvania.”
Investigators say Rothstein paid $1,500 to one of the BSO officers for their involvement in the case.
Chuck Malkus wrote a book about the Rothstein Ponzi scheme. He said Rosenfeldt is the 24th person to face criminal charges and more arrests are expected.
“There are larger fish to be brought down and this is the reason why it’s become to ultimate Ponzi,” said Chuck Malkus, author of “The Ultimate Ponzi: The Scott Rothstein Story.” “No other Ponzi in U.S. history has had 24 people charged as part of it.”
Rosenfeldt’s attorney, Bruce Lehr, said, “I’m very pleased that we were able to negotiate to these charges. It’s to the credit of the United States Attorney that they did not charge Stuart Rosenfeldt with the Ponzi scheme despite the repeated assertions of Scott Rothstein.”
Lehr has maintained that his client had no knowledge of Rothstein’s billion dollar Ponzi scheme.
Rothstein is serving 50 years in prison. Rosenfeldt faces up to 5 years in prison.