Stuart Rosenfeldt, left, walks with attorney Andrew Levi (J. Albert Diaz)
Stuart Rosenfeldt, con man Scott Rothstein’s former law partner, pleaded guilty Wednesday to a federal conspiracy charge growing out of his $1.2 billion Ponzi scheme.
U.S. District Judge Marcia Cooke in Miami allowed him to remain free on bond and set sentencing for Sept. 24.
Rosenfeldt was the only other equity partner at Rothstein’s law firm, Rothstein Rosenfeldt Adler, a 70-attorney labor and employment firm based in Fort Lauderdale.
Rosenfeldt is the last name partner at the firm and the eighth attorney overall to face charges following Rothstein’s high-profile downfall. Partner Russell Adler is awaiting sentencing for making illegal campaign contributions. Aside from Rothstein’s 50-year term, sentences for other attorneys have ranged from two to five years.
Rothstein hopes to get his prison term reduced by cooperating with prosecutors, who face a deadline this fall for charging defendants before the statute of limitations expires. He has repeatedly said he and his partners enjoyed a “rock-star lifestyle.”
The fraud was predicated on bogus court settlements, which Rothstein told investors he purchased at a discount.
Defense attorney Bruce Lehr has repeatedly said Rosenfeldt was not charged with any Ponzi-related crime, but he admitted a fraud conspiracy that had his boss’ signature all over it.
Prosecutors said Rosenfeldt was part of a general practice of check kiting at RRA, resulting in bank losses of more than $478,900.
The government also charged Rosenfeldt was reimbursed for funneling money to the presidential campaign of U.S. Sen. John McCain in 2008. He also teamed up with Rothstein to threaten a prostitute who talked about going public about her relationship with Rosenfeldt.
He and Rothstein met with Broward sheriff’s Detective David Benjamin to strong-arm the prostitute’s boyfriend and put her on a plane back to Pennsylvania.
Rosenfeldt said in civil deposition that he ran up $1 million in charges on the firm’s American Express card at Rothstein’s direction. His personal expenses included 72 pieces of jewelry, home furniture, exotic reptiles and other luxuries.
But Rosenfeldt insisted he was oblivious to the giant fraud operating out of RRA, testifying in the civil deposition he never studied RRA’s financial books and was more a people person.