Broker Sentenced in Connection with Rothstein Case
Wifredo A. Ferrer, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, Kelly R. Jackson, Special Agent in Charge, Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI), and George L. Piro, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Miami Field Office, announce that Richard L. Pearson, 57, of Miami, was sentenced today in West Palm Beach by U.S. District Judge Kenneth A. Marra to 24 months’ imprisonment, to be followed by one year of supervised release. On October 16, 2014, Pearson pled guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud in connection with the operation of the former Fort Lauderdale law firm of Rothstein, Rosenfeldt and Adler, P.A. (RRA). In 2009, it was discovered that RRA was being utilized by its Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Scott W. Rothstein, to commit a massive Ponzi scheme stemming from the sale of fictitious confidential settlements.
In connection with his guilty plea, Pearson admitted that he agreed to act as a broker for Rothstein’s settlements. Pearson would receive a sales commission from Rothstein derived from the money paid by the investor, and would pay a portion of that sales commission to RRA attorney David Boden for his assistance in the sale of these settlement. Beginning in September 2009, a group of investors (the “Investor Group”) began investing in the confidential settlement agreements following a meeting with Rothstein. Boden and Pearson agreed that the Investor Group would pay a sales commission directly to Pearson. The Investor Group was not informed by Boden or Pearson that they were also receiving an additional undisclosed sales commission from the money paid by the Investor Group to Rothstein. Pearson further admitted that, through material misstatements and omissions made to the Investor Group, Pearson and Boden caused the Investor Group to incur a loss of approximately $2,400,000.
Mr. Ferrer commended the investigative efforts of the IRS-CI and FBI. This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Lawrence D. LaVecchio, Paul F. Schwartz, and Jeffrey N. Kaplan.
A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida at www.usdoj.gov/usao/fls. Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Southern District of Florida at www.flsd.uscourts.gov or on http://pacer.flsd.uscourts.gov.