News and Press Releases

Rothstein Attorney Sentenced on Conspiracy to Violate Federal Election Campaign Act and other Fraud Charges

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 14, 2012

Wifredo A. Ferrer, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, Michael B. Steinbach, Acting Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Miami Field Office, and José A. Gonzalez, Special Agent in Charge, Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation Division (IRS-CI), announced today’s sentencing of Steven N. Lippman, 50, of Plantation, on charges that he conspired to commit crimes through the operation of the former Fort Lauderdale law firm of Scott W. Rothstein, called Rothstein, Rosenfeldt and Adler, P.A. (RRA). Lippman was sentenced to 36 months in prison, to be followed by two years of supervised release. He was also ordered to pay a fine of $15,000 and to pay restitution in the amount of $179,000 to the IRS.

Lippman, an attorney admitted to practice law in Florida, was a Shareholder of RRA, but had no equity interest in the firm. Lippman pled guilty on May 11, 2012 to conspiracy to violate the Federal Election Campaign Act, to defraud the United States, and to defraud a financial institution, in violation of 18 U.S.C. §371.

According to the charges to which he pled guilty, Lippman maintained a bank account from a prior law firm where he was a partner. Lippman used this account to float checks between and among certain bank accounts maintained by RRA to execute a form of bank fraud, commonly known as “check kiting.” He also defrauded the IRS by failing to report as income certain expense reimbursements and other reportable income he received from RRA, and was unlawfully reimbursed by RRA for certain contributions which he made to the presidential campaign of John McCain.

U.S. Attorney Wifredo A. Ferrer stated, “Scott Rothstein’s house of cards keeps coming down on all those who participated in his billion dollar fraud. Attorneys are held to a high standard of ethical conduct and are sworn to follow the law. This attorney, however, did not live up to that standard and today, he reaped the consequences of that decision."

“Steven Lippman, like Scott Rothstein, chose greed over integrity and will now have a price to pay,” said William J. Maddalena, Acting Special Agent in Charge, FBI Miami. “The FBI will continue to shine a light on every aspect of this fraud.”

IRS-CI SAC José A. Gonzalez stated, “Steven Lippman attempted to skirt his tax obligations by willfully failing to report income, including $134,000 in the form of a Maserati, which he received from RRA. At today’s sentencing, Lippman was ordered to pay $179,000 in restitution to the IRS, which represented the taxes due on more than $500,000 of unreported income. Honest taxpayers have been reassured today that no one is above the law especially when the integrity of tax administration is at stake.”

Mr. Ferrer commended the investigative efforts of the FBI and the IRS-CI. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Lawrence D. LaVecchio, Paul F. Schwartz, and Jeffrey N. Kaplan.

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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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