Saturday, 6 February 2016
Last updated 10 hours ago
May 21 2014 | 10:26am ET
A Florida lawyer and friend of Ponzi schemer Scott Rothstein was sentenced yesterday to five years in prison for helping prolong the $1.4 billion fraud.
Christina Kitterman impersonated an official of the Florida Bar Association, a ruse that prosecutors said kept Rothstein’s scam afloat for another six months, U.S. District Judge Daniel Hurley found. He said she knew she was committing fraud when she pretended to by Adria Quintela, a top Bar official, to tell Rothstein’s hedge fund investors that the Bar had frozen his assets, preventing him from paying them. Kitterman denied the allegation on the stand, but owned up to the call yesterday.
“I accept responsibility,” she said. “I made a phone call that hurt people. If I could take back that phone call, I would.”
Kitterman’s call helped assuage the hedge funds’ fears and kept them from filing a lawsuit that would have revealed Rothstein’s scam six months earlier. The Ponzi scheme collapsed in October 2009.
Rothstein testified at the trial—called by Kitterman’s lawyers—and said that she knew what she was doing when she made the call. He said they had a sexual relationship and that she, like he, was friendly with members of the mob.