FT LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami) – A former law partner of Ponzi schemer Scott Rothstein has been sentenced to two and a half years in federal prison for making illegal campaign donations to Republican candidates.
Russell Adler was visibly shaking when U.S. District Judge James Cohn announced the sentence which was on the high end of the sentencing guidelines, according to the Sun-Sentinel.
Before the sentencing, Cohn asked the prosecution if the Ponzi scheme activities should be considered. Assistant U.S. Attorney Lawrence LaVecchio replied that Adler could not “legally be held responsible for the activities of the Ponzi,” according to the paper.
Adler, 52, pleaded guilty last in April to charges of violating federal campaign finance laws.
Prosecutors said Adler helped orchestrate thousands of dollars in bundled contributions from the now-defunct Rothstein Rosenfeldt Adler law firm’s employees and attorneys to John McCain’s 2008 campaign for president and Charlie Crist’s run in 2010 for the U.S. Senate. Authorities say the contributions were illegally reimbursed by the law firm.
Adler had faced a maximum of five years in prison.
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.