Former office of Rothstein Rosenfeldt Adler
Former office of Rothstein Rosenfeldt Adler (Melanie Bell)

The former chief financial officer at Scott Rothstein’s law firm pleaded not guilty Tuesday to allegations she helped her boss pursue his $1.2 billion Ponzi scheme.

Irene Stay Shannon’s initial appearance was expected to set the stage for a change of plea on a negotiated criminal information on one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering and bank fraud. The charge carries a maximum five-year sentence.

Shannon, who went by her maiden name Stay while working at Rothstein Rosenfeldt Adler in Fort Lauderdale, was accused of cooking the books for the firm, check-kiting and buying property for Rothstein with proceeds from the scam.

Shannon was arraigned before U.S. Magistrate Judge Patrick Hunt. U.S. District Judge Robin Rosenbaum set a tentative trial date of May 27. Shannon was released on a $250,000 personal surety bond.

Rothstein is serving a 50-year prison sentence for a settlement financing scam. So far 18 others have been charged with crimes associated with Rothstein and his once high-powered labor and employment firm.