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Deputies Face Criminal Charges In Connection To Ponzi Schemer Rothstein

FORT LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami) - David Benjamin, a former Broward Sheriff's Deputy, is not talking about the charges against him—allegations that he was on the payroll of Fort Lauderdale Ponzi schemer Scott Rothstein.

Investigators say he was paid more than $180,000 and abused his badge several times.

Benjamin also accused of directing a fellow officer to arrest the wife of a Scott Rothstein friend on a trumped up drug charge. That allegedly happened during a nasty child custody battle.

"Did you tell Jeff Poole to make that arrest?" CBS 4's Ted Scouten asked Benjamin as he walked out of court.  Benjamin did not answer.

Jeff Poole is that former deputy who's accused of making that bad arrest.  He's not talking either.  His attorney argues Poole was sucked into this case, not realizing this was linked the one of the biggest scammers in the country.

"He was cog, unfortunately, unknowingly in Rothstein's wheel," explained Poole's attorney Michael Gottlieb.  "He did a favor, he did something for Benjamin, Benjamin asked him to do something, he did it, unknowing it had anything to do with Rothstein."

Poole's attorney alleges, among the deputies, Benjamin, not Jeff Poole, was calling the shots, dealing directly with Rothstein.

"He's not the main guy," said Gottlieb. "You saw Benjamin was arraigned before him.  He was his superior and we know who he was involved with and Jeff was not involved with Rothstein, so he's absolutely not the main guy."

Both deputies were fired Friday from their jobs at BSO after federal officials announced charges against them.

"Any time a law officer abuses public trust, it hurts all of us," Broward Sheriff Scott Israel said Friday.

Both men entered a not guilty plea for now, but each is expected to enter into a plea agreement.  Both are out on bond.


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