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June 8, 2010

Federal prosecutors asking "only" for 40 years for now-cooperating lawyer Ponzi schemer

As detailed in this prior post, this week's scheduled federal sentencing of Scott Rothstein, Florida's answer to Bernie Madoff, is bringing up a host of interesting legal issues and sentencing recommendations.  This new piece available at law.com, which is headlined "Prosecutors Recommend 40 Years for Rothstein; Defense Asks for 30," highlights that federal prosecutors are in part responsible for making this high-profile white-collar sentencing so interesting. Here is how the piece starts:

Federal prosecutors say Ponzi scheme purveyor Scott Rothstein deserves a break -- just not as much as his defense attorney wants.

The lawyer who turned his fast-growing Fort Lauderdale, Fla., firm into a vehicle for Florida's largest Ponzi scheme -- defrauding investors of $1.2 billion -- should spend 40 years in prison, federal prosecutors told U.S. District Judge James I. Cohn in a sentencing memorandum filed Monday.

Rothstein is scheduled to be sentenced Wednesday. Defense attorney, Marc Nurik has asked Cohn to sentence the one-time political power broker to 30 years. The federal probation office has proposed life, driven largely by the outsized dollar loss to victims. The statutory maximum is 100 years.

"While the defendant's criminal activity in this case can only be described as reprehensible, it is beyond dispute that his post-offense conduct has been extraordinary," Assistant U.S. Attorney Lawrence D. LaVecchio wrote, referring to Rothstein's cooperation explaining his fraud and working as an informant in a case related to organized crime.

June 8, 2010 at 09:51 AM | Permalink

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Comments

What's fascinating is that the debate is over precisely which de facto life sentence Rothstein will get. He is 47, which means that he is unlikely to outlive even the defense recommendation of 30 years, much less the prosecution recommendation of 40 years, or the probation office's recommendation of Life.

Posted by: Marc Shepherd | Jun 8, 2010 10:18:49 AM

totally OT, but scotusblog flags another cert petition to reverse a 6th ct habeas grant. only this one was authored by boggs, joined by merritt. overreaching?

http://www.ca6.uscourts.gov/opinions.pdf/09a0625n-06.pdf

Posted by: . | Jun 8, 2010 11:53:41 AM

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