Accused Fort Lauderdale Ponzi schemer Scott Rothstein is working on a guilty plea with federal prosecutors that could keep him from spending the rest of his life behind bars, according to his attorney.
Accused of running a $1.2 billion dollar Ponzi scheme from his law firm, Rothstein pleaded not guilty in December to five charges which included fraud, racketeering and conspiracy.
Facing a maximum of 100 years in prison for those charges, it looks like Rothstein is ready to make a deal.
"I can tell you that there will be a change of plea to guilty," Rothstein's attorney Marc Nurik said yesterday. "We don't have any finalization on the details at this point."
Nurik and Rothstein appeared in court today where the date to change Rothstein's plea was set for Jan. 27. Rothstein, in handcuffs and chains, wore a tan jumpsuit to the proceeding.
Nurik said he and prosecutors haven't ironed out the exact charges Rothstein will plead guilty to.
By entering a guilty plea, Rothstein will likely have his sentence reduced.
Rothstein, 47, was arrested on Dec. 1 after a lengthy investigation by authorities begun as early as October. The former high-powered lawyer, now disbarred, has been sitting in a jail cell after he was denied his release last month.
Prosecutors allege that Rothstein used his position at his Rothstein Rosenfeldt Adler law firm to dupe clients into investing in nonexistent legal settlements. Rothstein allegedly made off with millions, which he used to fund his lavish lifestyle of pricey homes, sports cars and expensive jewelry.
Rothstein's cooperation could pave the way for more arrests and indictments in the alleged Ponzi scheme.