Lawyers close to Ponzi schemers, and who feel that they are above the law, can get burned. Scott Saidel, the attorney for Ponzi wife Kimberly Rothstein, and who has pled guilty to Money Laundering Conspiracy, is expected to receive five years in Federal Prison, for his conspiracy with his client, who was attempting to conceal substantial assets of the Ponzi scheme for herself.
In an act that was the height of arrogance, Saidel conspired with Kim Rothstein, her friend, and their jewelers, to secretly sell off assets, and lie about them. The attorney intended to quietly hide the funds in his trust account. He has already forfeited $65,000, and a fine is expected. He has already surrendered his law license in Arizona, and Florida Bar will act after sentencing, scheduled for 15 July.
The moral of the story: if you are the counsel for anyone involved in a Ponzi scheme, expect that if you cross the line, you will pay the price. Your co-conspirators will give you up in a heartbeat, for favourable treatment at the time of sentencing. Do not, under any circumstances, break the law for your clients.