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Ripoff lawyer gets 50-year sentence

Billion-dollar pyramid schemer Scott Rothstein, whose victims include a Main Line money manager's clients, sent up for 50 years

"Scott Rothstein, South Florida Ponzi schemer extraordinaire, received a 50-year prison sentence Wednesday after a hearing in federal court in Fort Lauderdale," reports the Miami Herald here.

"He apologized to investors he stole from, to his law firm colleagues, to his firm's clients, to the court system, fellow lawyers, to charities." But "Rothstein, convicted of running a $1.2 billion investment scam" to finance non-existent legal settlements, "had said he deserved no more than 30 years because he pleaded guilty, spilled his guts to the feds and starred in an FBI sting that took down a reputed Italian Mafia figure.

"In his sentencing, Judge (James) Cohn called Rothstein's investment scam a `tsunami' that he created through his law firm, his political connections, his charities and ultimately, by forging the signatures of judges in a legal case between auto magnate Ed Morse and an interior decorator."

Rothstein's take includes $30 million from former Main Line investment manager Barry Bekkedam's Ballamor Capital, which has been sued by victims who say the former Villanova and Archbishop Carroll basketball player steered them to Rothstein. Bekkedam says he's a victim, too.