Christina Kitterman, a lawyer working at attorney/Ponzi schemer Scott Rothstei's law firm, was convicted by a jury of three counts of Wire Fraud yesterday. Kitterman impersonated a Florida Bar staff attorney in a telephone conference with Rothstein investors who were seeking some of their "profits," and she deceived the victims into believing that the state bar association was responsible for delays in their payments.
It is estimated that Kitterman's performance extended the life of the faltering Ponzi scheme for an additional six months, during which time investors paid in an additional $100m. She is the only Rothstein defendant to compel the US Attorney to go to trial, to prove his case ; fourteen other defendants have reportedly all pled guilty, including Rothstein, who drew a 50-year sentence. Wire fraud is a 5-year felony, but the defendant could be sentenced to serve multiple consecutive prison terms on the three counts. If the Court wants to send a message to the other potential defendants in the billion dollar fraud, she could get a sentence of more than five years.
Rothstein was himself called as defense witness on the case. He stated, while on the witness stand, that government prosecutors have not been in contact with him for more than a year. This does not bode well for Rothstein's quest to have his sentence reduced, for Substantial Assistance. It is believed that Rothstein lied to prosecutors about the fact that his wife concealed, and later sold, valuable jewelry, which the Receiver of Rothstein's failed law firm was seeking, to repay victims of the Ponzi scheme. If the government does not have any faith in his credibility as a witness, then he may not be called to testify against any of his former law partners, who have not yet been charged, and thus lose any chance for a sentence reduction. The Sentencing Reform Act requires Federal defendants to serve 85% of their sentences.