Investment Advisor Pleads Guilty in Connection with Rothstein Case
An investor advisor pled guilty this afternoon for his involvement in the Rothstein wire fraud conspiracy.
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, made the announcement.
Michael Szafranski, 37, of Surfside, pled guilty before U.S. District Court Judge William P. Dimitrouleas to conspiracy to commit wire fraud, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 371. At sentencing, scheduled for October 21, 2015 at 1:15 p.m., Szafranski faces a maximum statutory sentence of five years in prison.
According to court records, including a stipulated statement of facts, it was discovered in 2009 that the law firm of Rothstein, Rosenfeldt and Adler, P.A. (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. Szafranski, who was a registered investment advisor, conspired with Rothstein to induce certain persons into investing money in the confidential settlements through material misstatements and material omissions made by defendant Szafranski. Specifically, Szafranski secretly received compensation from Rothstein and RRA while simultaneously employed by certain investors as a purportedly independent verifier of the legitimacy of the settlement transactions.
Mr. Ferrer commended the investigative efforts of the IRS-CI and the 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.