Former South Florida Lawyer Sentenced to 50 Years for $1.2B Ponzi Scheme

Scott Rothstein was sentenced to 50 years in prison for his role in the operation of a $1.2 billion Ponzi scheme. Rothstein pled guilty in January to running the Ponzi scheme in which he sold stakes in legal settlements, in which people sell large settlements in legal cases for lump sums of cash at a discounted rate. Rothstein told investors that they would profit, claiming a sixty-percent return on their investment, when the legal settlements were paid in full.

The sentence was 10 years longer than federal prosecutors had requested (and 20 years longer than Rothstein had asked for). Rothstein faced a maximum sentence of 100 years on the five felony counts. Rothstein and his co-conspirators created false documents, including fake settlements and court orders, to sell the deals to investors.

The Rothstein Ponzi scheme has been tied to at least one broker-dealer, HighTower Advisors LLC of Chicago and one of its brokers, Curtis Lyman, who allegedly provided money to Rothstein from a feeder fund investment he sold to his clients. Mr. Lyman, an adviser based in Palm Beach, Florida, sold promissory notes to his clients issued by Banyon 1030-32 LLC. Capital raised through the Banyon notes was then routed to disbarred Florida lawyer Scott Rothstein.


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