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Scott Rothstein law partners probed

  Attorneys in the News  -   POSTED: 2010/01/14 15:44

The Florida Bar is investigating at least 35 former senior lawyers in the now-bankrupt Fort Lauderdale law firm headed by Scott Rothstein, who was disbarred before he was criminally charged last month with using the firm to run a $1.2 billion investment racket.

The Bar confirmed to The Miami Herald Wednesday that it is examining whether those members of the former firm -- Rothstein Rosenfeldt Adler -- lied about the amount of money in client trust accounts and whether they stole any of it.

Rothstein is scheduled to plead guilty Jan. 27 to federal racketeering, fraud and money laundering charges stemming from his massive Ponzi scheme, which was fueled with plundered client and investor funds.

Several of Rothstein's former partners have said they were unware of his scam, in which he used the law firm to sell bogus legal settlements to wealthy investors over the past four years.

But prosecutors, without mentioning names, have said that some of the law firm's employees ``do have apparent criminal culpability.''

The Florida Bar board of governors and its president, Jesse Diner, launched their investigation into Rothstein in early November when word of the scandal broke, and then the following month decided to pursue the probe of the other lawyers.

``The Bar takes this issue very seriously,'' Diner, a Fort Lauderdale lawyer, said Wednesday. ``The Bar is actively investigating and will pursue remedies against anyone who has violated any rules. This investigation didn't stop with Scott Rothstein.


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