Former exec at Rothstein law firm in Fla. pleads not guilty in $1.2 billion Ponzi schemeBy AP
Wednesday, April 28, 2010
Ex-Rothstein exec pleads not guilty in Ponzi scam
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — A former executive at disbarred attorney Scott Rothstein’s law firm in Florida is pleading not guilty to charges that she played a key role in his $1.2 billion Ponzi scheme.
Debra Villegas entered the plea Wednesday in Fort Lauderdale federal court. Prosecutors say Villegas helped Rothstein prepare fake court settlements used to lure investors.
Prosecutors and Villegas’ attorney said she is cooperating with investigators. She will be released on $250,000 bail.
The 42-year-old Villegas could get 10 years in prison if convicted. Villegas may also have to forfeit $1.2 million in cash, a Weston home and an exotic Maserati car.
Rothstein, 47, previously pleaded guilty and faces up to 100 years in prison at a June 9 sentencing.
Tags: Corporate Crime, Florida, Fort Lauderdale, Fraud And False Statements, North America, United States