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Ex-Partner Of Florida Ponzi Schemer Pleads Guilty

MIAMI (CBSMiami/AP) -- A former law firm partner of convicted Ponzi-schemer Scott Rothstein will be sentenced this September after he pleaded guilty to three felony counts.

Stuart Rosenfeldt, 59, who originally pleaded not guilty, pleaded guilty to violation of federal election campaign laws, check fraud and a civil rights violation.

When asked by U.S. District Judge Marcia Cooke if he realized he was pleading guilty to federal felony charges, Rosenfeldt replied "Unfortunately yes your honor."

Prosecutors say Rosenfeldt was involved in campaign finance violations and financial irregularities at Fort Lauderdale's Rothstein Rosenfeldt Adler law firm.

According to investigators Rosenfeldt made large campaign contributions to high profile candidates like John McCain and Charlie Crist and was reimbursed with money from the law firm. That is illegal.

Investigators also say that Rosenfeldt and Rothstein conspired to have law enforcement officers with the Broward Sheriff's Office detain, search and intimidate an escort who Rosenfeldt was having an affair with and her boyfriend after they threatened to expose Rosenfeldt's behavior.

According to the information filed in federal court, the Broward Sheriff's Officers -- at the direction of Rosenfeldt and Rothstein -- searched the residence of the escort and her boyfriend, restrained the boyfriend by placing him in handcuffs and removed evidence from the escort's phone that was evidence of her relationship with Rosenfeldt. The feds also say that the BSO officers took the escort and her boyfriend to the airport and instructed them to "return to Pennsylvania."

Investigators say Rothstein paid $1,500 to one of the BSO officers for their involvement in the case.

Outside the court room his attorney, Bruce Lehr, was asked if his client could do it all over again, what would he do?

"He would steer very clear of Mr. Rothstein, something that thousands of other people would do if they had to do it over again," he replied.

Rosenfeldt will remain free on bond. His sentencing hearing is set for Sept. 24th.

He faces a maximum of five years in prison, three years supervised released and restitution.


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