Two More Rothstein Associates Charged in Connection with Billion-Dollar Fraud Scheme
|U.S. Attorney’s Office December 01, 2011|
Wifredo A. Ferrer, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida; John V. Gillies, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Miami Field Office; and José A. Gonzalez, Special Agent in Charge, Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation Division (IRS-CID), announced the filing of charges against William Boockvor, 66, of Deerfield Beach, and Marybeth Feiss, 42, of Ft. Lauderdale, for conspiring to commit crimes through the operation of the former Fort Lauderdale law firm of Scott W. Rothstein, called Rothstein, Rosenfeldt and Adler, P.A. (RRA). The defendants were both employees of RRA. Boockvor performed various administrative functions, including bookkeeping for RRA’s operating account, and oversaw various banking operations. Feiss was an administrative assistant to Scott W. Rothstein at RRA.
The two separate criminal informations were filed earlier today. One information charges Boockvor with conspiracy to commit wire fraud, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 371, for his participation in Rothstein’s Ponzi scheme. Feiss is charged in a separate information with conspiracy to violate the Federal Election Campaign Act and to defraud the United States, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 371. If convicted, each defendant faces a maximum statutory sentence of up to five years in prison.
According to the information, Boockvor assisted Rothstein to execute and perpetuate Rothstein’s fraudulent investment scheme at RRA. In this regard, Boockvor is alleged to have provided TD Bank employees with falsely inflated balance statements of RAA’s trust accounts at TD Bank. In addition, Boockvor allegedly assisted TD Bank employees to prepare envelopes for the fraudulent account balance statements and cover letters that would falsely confirm the accuracy of the attached account balances. Thereafter, TD Bank employees would provide these envelopes (containing the falsely inflated account statements and cover letters) to Rothstein in the presence of investors or their representatives. Boockvor also allegedly provided the inflated TD Bank trust account balance statements to a co-conspirator who posed as a TD Bank employee. This co-conspirator would, in turn, provide the fraudulent balance statements to investors or their representatives. In this way, investors were misled to believe that the account balances were sufficient to fund their investments.
According to the information against Feiss, her duties at RRA included helping to organize events, such as functions for political candidates, and assisting in the collection of campaign contributions made at those events. To circumvent federal campaign finance laws that limited the amounts that donors could contribute, Rothstein enlisted some of the attorneys, administrative personnel at RRA, and others associated with RRA, including Feiss, to make political contributions to various political campaigns. Rothstein bundled these contributions to contribute more than $1 million on behalf of RRA to various political committees associated with John McCain’s presidential election campaign. Subsequently, Rothstein used monies from RRA to reimburse these individuals for their purported contributions. To disguise the repayment of the political contributions, RRA would classify the reimbursement checks to these individuals as bonuses or miscellaneous expenses. As a result of the bundled contributions made on behalf of RRA, Rothstein was named a delegate to the 2008 Republican National Convention and was appointed as a member of the Judicial Nominating Committee for the State of Florida.
U.S. Attorney Wifredo A. Ferrer stated, “The tentacles of Rothstein’s billion-dollar Ponzi scheme reached far and wide. Rothstein relied on many people to facilitate his fraud. Until today, we had charged six individuals for their roles in this massive scheme. Today’s charges bring the tally to eight defendants, including federal campaign finance charges resulting from the illegal reimbursement of campaign contributions to RAA employees. But we are not done yet.”
“Scott Rothstein created the fourth largest Ponzi scheme, which William Boockvor and others helped perpetuate. But Rothstein’s greed wasn’t limited to the Ponzi scheme,” said John V. Gillies, Special Agent in Charge for FBI’s Miami Office. “Rothstein tried to buy political influence with the money he stole from the Ponzi scheme to contribute millions of dollars to political campaigns. He circumvented campaign finance laws by reimbursing various associates like Marybeth Feiss for donating the maximum allowed to select campaigns, thus concealing the true source of the funds.”
IRS-CI Special Agent in Charge José A. Gonzalez stated, “One by one, Scott Rothstein’s accomplices are being held accountable for their actions. These charges should serve as a continued warning to those who assist in misleading and defrauding investors. No matter how well orchestrated the scheme, Ponzi schemers and their accomplices will be discovered and brought to justice.”
Mr. Ferrer commended the investigative efforts of the FBI and the IRS-CID. 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. Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Southern District of Florida at http://www.flsd.uscourts.gov or on http://pacer.flsd.uscourts.gov.