ROTHSTEIN ASSOCIATE PLEADS GUILTY TO CONSPIRACY TO COMMIT WIRE FRAUD IN CONNECTION WITH PONZI SCHEME
Wifredo A. Ferrer, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, John V. Gillies, 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 Division (IRS-CID), announce that Howard Kusnick, 58, of Tamarac, pled guilty today in West Palm Beach to conspiracy to commit wire fraud, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 371.
Sentencing is scheduled for September 2, 2011 at 10:00 a.m., before U.S. District Court Judge Kenneth A. Marra. At sentencing, Kusnick, an attorney at the former Fort Lauderdale law firm of Rothstein Rosenfeldt and Adler, P.A. (RRA), faces a maximum statutory sentence of up to five years in prison.
According to the charging documents and statements made in court during the plea, Kusnick, while an attorney at RRA, engaged in a scheme to defraud two clients of RRA by authoring a letter purporting to settle pending litigation in the clients’ favor. In fact, however, no such litigation had been instituted and no such settlement existed. Rather, the purpose of the letter was to lull the clients into believing that RRA was pursuing litigation on their behalf when, in fact, the clients’ funds had been used to pay off earlier investors and to further a “Ponzi” scheme conducted by Scott Rothstein involving the sale of purported confidential settlement agreements in sexual harassment and/or whistle blower cases.
Mr. Ferrer commended the investigative efforts of the FBI and the IRS-CID. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Lawrence D. LaVecchio, Paul F. Schwartz and Jeffrey N. Kaplan.
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.