Another attorney is heading to prison for helping disbarred attorney Scott Rothstein pursue his $1.2 billion Ponzi scam.
Plantation attorney Douglas L. Bates was sentenced Thursday to five years in prison by U.S. District Judge Donald M. Middlebrooks in West Palm Beach.
Bates pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud for writing two opinion letters on his law firm’s letterhead vouching for Rothstein’s settlement financing business at his Rothstein Rosenfeldt Adler in Fort Lauderdale.
Twenty people have been charged with crimes associated with Rothstein or his wife, Kim Rothstein.
Rothstein is serving a 50-year federal prison sentence. Kim Rothstein is serving an 18-month sentence for hiding and selling jewelry and other items purchased with money from the fraud.
Bates was a partner at Koppel and Bates. He initially indicated he would go to trial but changed course after a jury convicted former RRA attorney Christina Kitterman in the first Rothstein-related criminal trial.
Other South Florida attorneys who have been pleaded guilty to Rothstein-related crimes are Russell Adler, Steven Lippman, Howard Kusnick and Scott Saidel.