David Boden,who was in-house counsel at Rothstein Rosenfeldt Adler (RRA), the law firm where partner Scott Rothstein sold non-existent investments, was sentenced today to eighteen months in Federal Prison, for falsely verifying that purported legal settlements were genuine. He also received commissions from a number of the sales of the bogus settlements, and reportedly failed to report those commissions.
I am troubled by the fact that Boden, who cooperated with prosecutors, and assisted in the investigation, received a very short sentence, in a major Ponzi case where the principal player Scott Rothstein, was sentenced to 50 years. What exactly was an in-house counsel, not admitted to practice in Florida, doing at a small law firm, in a full-time position ? he certainly was not ethics counsel. He wasn't assisting the firm's attorneys with their caseload, and I am mystified as to how much admin duties he might have that would require a lawyer's expertise. Was his function merely to act as window dressing, there solely for the benefit of the investors, to assure them, as a lawyer, of the bona fides of their "investments" into legal settlements ? I have no answer, but a lot of questions. I also want to know why the defendant never became a Florida-licensed attorney; he was counsel at another company before RRA.
The fact that the defendant will not be reporting to prison until July says a lot about the quality of the Substantial Assistance that he rendered; the Bureau of Prisons generally can assign him an institution in sixty days, or less, so I assume that the extended reporting date was given to him for that reason.
Is 18 months sufficient for a lawyer who was a part of what was the largest law firm Ponzi scheme that I can recall ? the victims trusted all these lawyers, the defendant among them, and believed the tale about the discounted settlements that they could participate in.