U.S. Attorney's Office
Southern District of Florida
(305) 961-9001
August 19, 2014

Rothstein Associate Pleads Guilty to 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 that Frank Preve, 70, of Coral Springs, pled guilty today in Ft. Lauderdale before U.S. District Judge James I. Cohn to conspiracy to commit wire fraud, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 371. At his sentencing, scheduled for December 12, 2014, Preve faces a maximum statutory sentence of up to five years in prison.

In 2009, it was discovered 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. In a written factual stipulation filed in connection with his guilty plea, Preve admitted that he 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 defendant further admitted that, from on or about July 9, 2009 through October 31, 2009, he 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 defendant further admitted 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.

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.

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