BULLETIN: Florida Supreme Court Disbars Scott Rothstein

UPDATED 3:52 P.M. ET (U.S.A.) The Florida Supreme Court has disbarred Fort Lauderdale attorney Scott Rothstein, who was implicated in a Ponzi scheme that could involve more than $1 billion.

Here is the Rothstein disbarment order.

Rothstein had been under investigation by the Florida Bar for stealing clients’ funds. He agreed to the disbarment, which the Supreme Court certified today without comment.

Federal investigators said Monday that Rothstein’s firm paid attorneys with Ponzi proceeds. Prosecutors pointed to records that showed the firm billed $8 million during an unspecified year, but paid $18 million in salaries to 70 attorneys and about 80 other employees.

It is not clear if the government intends to claw back the portion of the salaries paid for with Ponzi proceeds.

Charities also received Ponzi proceeds, as did politicians in both the Republican and Democratic parties, investigators said. Some of the charitable and political donations already have been returned.

The Florida Bar wasted no time today in updating its website to reflect the formal disbarment of Rothstein by the Supreme Court: “Disbarment – Permanent,” it says — in bold type.

So ends the legal career of Scott Rothstein, who was admitted to the Florida Bar on Sept. 23, 1988.

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