If $9 Million gets you 10-Years in San Fran, what will $1.3 Billion Earn You?
Remember Scott Rothstein from Ft. Lauderdale? He's the attorney sitting in confinement in South Florida awaiting trial over a $1 Billion misunderstanding involving selling investments in structured settlements. The FBI called it a Ponzi scheme.
I've been wondering what Mr. Rothstein might expect should he plead guilty; you know to make things right and do the right thing. Here is Scotty after his return from Morocco.
I did a quick search and found the following news items that should shed light on how long a sentence the Court may impose.
Remember Madoff received 150 years on June 29, 2009, which should make him a free man in the year 2159. I’m guessing that he won’t make it.
Mark Drier got 20 years for what was said to be a $700 million fraud. Prosecutors wanted 145 years. It's surprising he got only 20 years for the amount taken and what he did.
You may want to know, what exactly is a Ponzi scheme? Here are a few video clips that explain the nature of this scheme.
Here is Marina Orlova from HotforWords explaining it to the Slacker Generation.
Let's get back to the headlines. A Hemet lawyer was given 90 days in jail and home confinement for another six months for taking $69,000 from a lawyer’s trust account. It appears he may have been disbarred which wouldn’t surprise any lawyer.
In New Jersey a Bergen County attorney received 15 years for allegedly stealing $4m.
Out of the FBI’s files comes a story of a State College attorney was sentenced in March 2009 for allegedly stealing $307,208.68 from clients involved in real estate closings. The article states he got 2 years. That seems light for the amount.
From Utica a former attorney received five years of probation and six months of home confinement for more than $350,000.00 from a client’s estate.
And a story about a 34-year-old man sentenced to 15-years in prison for taking money intended to this ailing grandparents. He was ordered to pay $59,306 in restitution. The judge seemed angry about what the grandson did and wanted to send a message to others who might offend in a like manner.
How about an in-house attorney who was sent to the out-house for allegedly stealing $1 million from a home-building company. He was ordered to pay $1,377,621 in restitution.
And in New Hampshire court sentenced a now disbarred attorney to 3.5 to 7 years in prison for allegedly stealing from clients over a 3 to 4 year period. He was ordered to make restitution in the amount of $311,278.00.
A New Hampshire woman who allegedly stole $82,000 from her employer was sentenced to two-years and ordered to repay $82,827.35.
A home contractor in New York got 5 to 15 years in state prison for allegedly taking almost a million. $930,000 was the amount of the restitution.
Another lawyer from Texas got 15 years for allegedly stealing $800,000 from the estates of dead clients over two-decades. Mismanaged funds can seem like stealing when it goes on long enough and the lawyer fails to provide a valid explanation. Of course most of the time mismanaged funds are stolen funds.
Let's see we've had Y2K scam to prop up income statements, the backdating of stock options accounting fraud, the sub prime mortgage meltdown, the securitization of packaged mortgages, Wall Street bonuses and ... what else am I forgetting? Does the government's $700 Billion bank bailout to free up loan money - that never materialized - amount to a Ponzi scheme?
And let’s not forget our friend in Florida, Scott Rothstein. What time will he get to make things right over more than a billion dollars? Lay people should know that lawyers in Iowa who steal from their client trust funds are disbarred. There are few exceptions. One I use is if your spouse needed a surgery to save her life and you "borrowed" funds because there was no where else to turn. Of course this is theoretical and extremely rare.
I'm in the wrong business. From everything I see personal injury law isn't where the money is. Apparently financial crime legal work is the growth legal industry.