Federal Judges are trying to send a message to the communities where they serve: abuse your position as a lawyer, in a Ponzi scheme, and you will feel their anger. Douglas Bates a South Florida attorney who wrote a fraudulent opinion letter, in an effort to draw in new investors in the Scott Rothstein law firm Ponzi scheme, was not only sentenced to five years in Federal Prison, he was unexpectedly ordered to begin to serve his sentence immediately.
Professionals who are sentenced to relatively short sentences in Federal Court are generally allowed to remain out on bond, pending the Federal Bureau of Prisons designation of a correctional institution where they are to serve time, but in this case, the Court had other plans for attorney Bates. it appeared that he further abused the system, by having his ex-wife arrested on spurious charges. the judge was reportedly extremely unhappy with Mr. Bates' actions. The fact that he applied his trusted position as a licensed attorney, to further a billion-dollar Ponzi scheme, added fuel to the Court's fire. He was also fined $20,000.
By now, you should be aware that everybody remotely connected to an exploded Ponzi scheme, will pay the price for their role, no matter how minor it was.