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Howard Kusnick, a longtime law partner of Ponzi king Scott Rothstein, will soon face criminal charges, his civil attorney said in Florida state court Friday. Kusnick goes way back with Rothstein, partnering with him in the 1990s at the labor and employment firm Kusnick & Rothstein in Plantation. He followed him to Rothstein Rosenfeldt Adler in Fort Lauderdale, a firm federal prosecutors say was used to lure investors into Rothstein’s phony settlement investment plan. Rothstein is scheduled for sentencing next month for perpetrating a $1.2 billion fraud. Asked later about her comment in court, attorney Rachel F. Kelman of Shendell & Pollock in Boca Raton said she could not elaborate. The remark came in a Broward Circuit Court hearing in automobile mogul Ed Morse’s malpractice suit against RRA. Prosecutors have said Rothstein forged a judge’s signatures in a scheme to fleece Morse out of $57 million. Judge Jeffrey Streitfeld told Morse’s attorneys they have 30 days to amend their December lawsuit to include new information. Kusnick could not be reached for comment. In a related case, an attorney representing investors suing Rothstein and others told Streitfeld that more plaintiffs and defendants most likely will be added to the civil case. Fort Lauderdale attorney William Scherer of Conrad & Scherer, who filed a 1,300-page amended complaint last month, said the pleading could easily grow. But he asked Streitfeld to light a fire under the defendants to respond to the latest complaint. Leonard Goldstein, a Greenberg Traurig attorney for defendant TD Bank, said he needs the full 60 days to respond to a complaint he called “a novel.” Rothstein allegedly used his law firm’s accounts at TD Bank to perpetrate his $1.2 billion fraud scheme. He is scheduled for sentencing in federal court on fraud charges next month. Streitfeld said the civil case most likely will not be ready for trial in early 2011 as he previously planned because of continuing criminal investigations. “The problem is the ability of witnesses to come forward and testify in the current climate,” the judge said. Some attorneys with Rothstein’s defunct firm, Rothstein Rosenfeldt Adler, have refused to answer questions from attorneys in the firm’s bankruptcy case, invoking their right against self-incrimination. Streitfeld told Scherer he has until July 1 to add new parties to the case. In two related cases, the judge encouraged plaintiffs to amend their lawsuits. One involves Rothstein investors suing the bank for allegedly vouching for Rothstein’s investment scheme based on fake lawsuit settlement financing. Streitfeld told attorney Sean Thompson of Fort Lauderdale’s Krupnick Campbell Malone Buser Slama Hancock Liberman & McKee that his lawsuit has a problem because Rothstein investors dealt with his firm and not the bank directly.

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