Convicted South Florida Ponzi schemer and former law firm chairman Scott Rothstein is stuck with his 50-year prison sentence after the government said he violated the terms of his plea agreement.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office asked Tuesday to withdraw its motion to reduce Rothstein’s sentence, filed in 2011 as a placeholder in case the ex-attorney who ran a $1.2 billion scheme qualified for a sentence reduction for cooperating with the government.
“In the judgment of the United States, the defendant provided false material information to the government and violated the terms of his plea agreement,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Lawrence LaVecchio wrote in the motion to withdraw. “Therefore, in the exercise of its sole discretion, the government moves to withdraw the previously filed motion.”
Tuesday’s court filing does not specify what Rothstein’s violations were. His wife, Kim Rothstein, pleaded guilty to conspiracy in 2013 for hiding and trying to sell about $1 million in jewelry she bought with tainted money from the Ponzi scheme.
Rothstein’s attorney, Marc Nurik of the Los Angeles firm Browne George Ross, objected to granting the government’s motion. Nurik did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Rothstein pleaded guilty in 2010 to running the scheme, which involved investments in fake legal settlements, while he was leading Fort Lauderdale’s Rothstein Rosenfeldt Adler law firm. Dozens of others were charged in connection with the scam, and more than $25.4 million has been disbursed to more than 200 victims, according to a Sept. 21 court filing from the defunct law firm’s bankruptcy receiver, Michael Goldberg of Akerman in Fort Lauderdale.
Litigators also landed massive settlements for Rothstein’s victims, including a $170 million settlement with TD Bank, a $10 million settlement with Gibraltar Private Bank and a confidential Bank of America settlement.
Rothstein’s criminal case is still assigned to U.S. District Judge James Cohn, who took senior status in August 2016. Rothstein is serving his sentence at an undisclosed federal prison because he helped bring down a defendant with alleged Mafia ties.