Former CFO of Rothstein, Rosenfeldt, and Adler P.A. Sentenced for Conspiracy to Launder Money and to Defraud a Financial Institution
Wifredo A. Ferrer, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, Donnell Young, Acting 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 Irene Shannon, formerly known as Irene Stay, 50, of Miami, was sentenced today in Miami by U.S. District Judge Ursula Ungaro to five years in prison, to be followed by two years of supervised release.
On May 21, 2014, Shannon pled guilty to conspiracy to commit money laundering and bank fraud, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 371, through the operation of the former Fort Lauderdale law firm of Rothstein, Rosenfeldt and Adler, P.A. (RRA). Shannon was the Chief Financial Officer of 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.
When she entered her guilty plea, Shannon admitted that she oversaw the accounting functions of RRA, including the deposits and withdrawals made by RRA and Rothstein at TD Bank and other financial institutions. In furtherance of the Ponzi scheme, Shannon transferred hundreds of millions of dollars obtained from investors to pay prior investors in the scheme and to supplement and support the operation and activities of RRA, among other purposes. The defendant further admitted that she was well aware that hundreds of millions of dollars were not being held in trust accounts for investors, contrary to what those investors had been told, and that the funds were instead being disbursed to further Rothstein’s fraudulent scheme. The defendant also admitted that she utilized her position to float checks between and among certain bank accounts maintained by RRA in a form of bank fraud commonly known as “check kiting.”
Mr. Ferrer commended the investigative efforts of the IRS-CI and FBI. This case is being 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.