Fort Lauderdale

Investment Adviser Pleads Guilty in $1.2B Ponzi Scheme

An investment adviser has become the latest of more than two dozen people to plead guilty in the $1.2 billion Ponzi scheme operated by disbarred attorney Scott Rothstein.

Michael Szafranski entered the plea Wednesday in Fort Lauderdale federal court on a wire fraud conspiracy charge. Prosecutors say he lured investors to Rothstein through a variety of deceptions, including assurances he reviewed confidential legal settlements that did not actually exist.

The charge carries a maximum 5-year prison sentence.

Prosecutors have now convicted nearly 30 people in the Rothstein scam, operated out of his former Fort Lauderdale law office until its October 2009 collapse. Rothstein himself is serving a 50-year prison sentence after pleading guilty.

Trial for the current lone remaining defendant, bank executive Frank Spinosa, is set for October.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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