Rothstein Associate Charged with Conspiracy to Commit Wire Fraud
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 the filing of charges against Frank Preve, 70, of Coral Springs, for conspiring to commit crimes associated 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.
The information, which was filed earlier today, charges Preve with conspiracy to commit wire fraud, in violation of 18 U.S.C. 371. If convicted, the defendant faces a maximum statutory sentence of up to five years in prison.
According to the information, Preve worked for a number of companies, referred to as “the Banyon Group,” which solicited lenders and investors into the confidential settlement business being offered by Rothstein. The information further charges that, from in or about July 2009 through October 2009, Preve defrauded investors by not disclosing that Rothstein had failed to make payments that were due to the Banyon Group, that Rothstein had frozen certain bank accounts that were holding investor funds, that certain paperwork was not being prepared, and that verification of the investments was not taking place, all in violation of a private placement memorandum which had been circulated to potential investors by the Banyon Group. The information further charges that, through these material misrepresentations and omissions, Preve caused more than $20 million to be paid by investors to the Banyon Group.
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.
An information is only an accusation and a defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
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 http://www.usdoj.gov/usao/fls.