News and Press Releases

Russell Adler Charged with Conspiracy to Violate the Federal Election Campaign Act

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 7, 2014

Wifredo A. Ferrer, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, George L. Piro, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Miami Field Office, and Jose A. Gonzalez, Special Agent in Charge, Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI), announce the filing of charges against Russell S. Adler, 52, of Ft. Lauderdale. The defendant is alleged to have conspired to violate the Federal Election Campaign Act while a shareholder of the former Fort Lauderdale law firm of Rothstein, Rosenfeldt and Adler, P.A. (RRA).

According to the criminal information filed with the Court earlier today, the defendant was an attorney who was designated as a shareholder of RRA. He was charged with one count of 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, the defendant faces a maximum statutory sentence of up to five years in prison

The information charges that in order to circumvent campaign finance laws setting limitations on the amounts which donors can contribute, Rothstein enlisted some of the attorneys and administrative personnel of RRA, and other persons associated with RRA, including Adler, to make political contributions to various political campaigns which were unlawfully reimbursed to them by RRA.

U.S. Attorney Wifredo A. Ferrer stated, “The Federal Election Campaign Act is designed to limit financial influence in the election of candidates. Russell Adler blatantly ignored and circumvented clearly established campaign finance laws in an effort to increase the stature and apparent political power of RRA. The information filed today against Adler holds him accountable for his acts. Adler is now the seventh attorney and seventeenth accomplice to be held accountable in Rothstein’s $1.2 billion Ponzi scheme.”

“According to these charges, Russell S. Adler sought to undermine the campaign finance process and will now have to answer for his decision to do so,” said George L. Piro, Special Agent in Charge, FBI Miami. “This investigation is not over.”

IRS-CI Special Agent in Charge Jose A. Gonzalez stated, “The defendant made contributions to the presidential primary campaign of John McCain and the United States Senate campaign of Charlie Crist, which were unlawfully reimbursed by RRA. Today’s action demonstrates our collective efforts to enforce the law and ensure public trust. This investigation is not over as we are committed to ‘following the money trail’ and pursuing the evidence wherever it leads.”

Mr. Ferrer commended the investigative efforts of the FBI and IRS-CI. 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.

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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.

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