Scott Rothstein Attorney Christina Kitterman Guilty
A federal jury took only about an hour Tuesday to convict Boca Raton attorney Christina Kitterman of illegally helping her law firm boss, Scott Rothstein, keep money flowing to his $1.2 billion Ponzi scheme.
Kitterman, who testified in her own defense, was convicted of three counts of wire fraud conspiracy to end the first criminal trial in the long-running settlement financing fraud.
U.S. District Judge Daniel T.K. Hurley in West Palm Beach did not set a sentencing date but said he would review trial transcripts to see whether Kitterman perjured herself, which could increase her sentence.
The defense made the calculated decision to call Rothstein, former chairman of the 70-attorney Fort Lauderdale firm Rothstein Rosenfeldt Adler, who made his first public appearance in years. He is serving a 50-year prison sentence for fleecing investors ranging from auto magnate Ed Morse to hedge fund managers. His testimony in two civil depositions was the foundation for the charges against Kitterman.
Rothstein testified at the federal trial that Kitterman helped him hoodwink New York hedge fund managers by pretending to be a Florida Bar official on a teleconference call.
"We are deeply disappointed. Scott Rothstein strikes again," Rodriguez said after leaving court. Jurors "bought into his lies."
Assistant U.S. Attorney Lawrence LaVecchio told the 11-woman, one-man jury that Kitterman's legal team no doubt regretted calling Rothstein to the stand.
"I submit to you it didn't help," he said. "They might not have liked the answers they got."
Defense attorney Valentin Rodriguez said he didn't regret calling Rothstein and plans an appeal.
In closing arguments, Rodriguez said his client was duped by her boss through a series of frantic phone calls and emails. Rodriguez said Kitterman simply was doing what Rothstein told her to do: confirm information she thought was true.