Thursday, June 10, 2010

Ponzi schemer and disbarred attorney Scott Rothstein get's sentenced to 50 years for his crimes...

Look at that!  Is Scott Rothstein forging a judges signature in that photo?!

Disbarred attorney Scott Rothstein has been discussed ad nauseum throughout the media for his billion dollar plus ponzi scheme, he was finally sentenced yesterday to 50 years and 3 years of supervised release for his crimes (Bob Norman of the New Times provides fantastic coverage here).  His defense attorney asked the judge for 30 years while the prosecution was requesting a 40 year sentence.  Effectively the judge threw the proverbial book at him.  But why?  Aside from running the largest Ponzi scheme in the history of South Florida through his law firm and it's trust accounts, what really set U.S. District Court Judge James Cohn off was that Rothstein had created fake court documents and forged federal judges signatures on those documents to perpetrate his fraud.  Specifically, the judge said that forging judge's signatures on those fake documents are...

 "...the most egregious wrongs a licensed attorney can commit."

He goes on to say...

"There can be no conduct more reviled than a lawyer perpetrating a fraud on the court."

So what's Mr. Rothstein's story and subsequent sentencing have to do with us?  Let's begin by examining the definition of the word "fraud", from Websters dictionary...
Pronunciation: \ˈfrd\
Function: noun
Etymology: Middle English fraude, from Anglo-French, from Latin fraud-, fraus
Date: 14th century
1 a : deceit, trickery; specifically : intentional perversion of truth in order to induce another to part with something of value or to surrender a legal right b : an act of deceiving or misrepresenting : trick
2 a : a person who is not what he or she pretends to be : impostor; also : one who defrauds : cheat b : one that is not what it seems or is represented to be
That's good!  That perversion of truth part is great isn't it?  Sort of like a prosecutor going before a judge and lying about the facts of the case he's prosecuting?  That fits the definition of fraud doesn't it?  Even better, "the act of deceiving or misrepresenting" part, doesn't that sound like an accurate description of a prosecutor playing hide and go seek with evidence in order to intentionally frustrate the defense?

See folks, you don't have to forge court documents to "defraud the court", simply playing the games that Assistant State Attorney Bill Kostrzewski has played is bad enough.  Take a look at Judge Cohn's words again Bill...

"There can be no conduct more reviled than a lawyer perpetrating a fraud on the court......the most egregious wrongs a licensed attorney can commit"

We have to agree with the honorable Judge Cohn, there is no worse than an officer of the court perpetrating a fraud on the court.  For those among you who doubt our claims, don't worry, we have ASA Bill Kostrzewski's stellar performance in front of Judge Barzee recorded.  Stay tuned...

1 comment:

  1. If you have the goods on the prosecutor then why haven't you gone to the bar?