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, Donnell Young, Acting Special Agent in Charge, Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI), and Scott Israel, Sheriff, Broward County Sheriff’s Office (BSO), announce that David Benjamin, 48, of Boca Raton, was sentenced today in Ft. Lauderdale by U.S. District Judge James I. Cohn to five years in prison, to be followed by three years of supervised release. Benjamin was also ordered to pay $22,071.00 in restitution for conspiring to commit crimes in connection with the operation of the former Fort Lauderdale law firm of Rothstein, Rosenfeldt and Adler, P.A. (RRA). On May 13, 2014, Benjamin pled guilty to conspiracy to commit extortion and to violate civil rights, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 371. At the time of the offense, Benjamin was a Lieutenant and served as Executive Officer to then Sheriff Al Lamberti.
When he entered his guilty plea, the defendant admitted that he utilized his position within BSO unlawfully to further the interests of RRA, its Chairman and CEO, Scott W. Rothstein, and other persons associated with Rothstein. Specifically, Benjamin admitted that he received approximately $185,000 in money and other things of value from Rothstein and RRA in return for providing his assistance when needed, including arranging with another deputy to arrest the ex-wife of an attorney who was engaged in a child custody dispute with her, arranging to use force and threats of force against the boyfriend of an escort who was threatening to expose the illicit relationship which existed between the escort and one of the partners at RRA, and assisting Rothstein in loading cash and jewelry onto a private airplane which was used by Rothstein to flee to Morocco on October 27, 2009, as the Ponzi scheme being conducted through RRA was beginning to unravel.
Mr. Ferrer commended the investigative efforts of the FBI, IRS-CI and BSO. 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.