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Stettin Under Fed Microscope
19 Jul Judge Herbert Stettin, trustee of Ponzi schemer Scott Rothstein’s bankruptcy estate, will hold onto claim to the assets of Rothstein’s former law firm, per the ruling of U.S. District Judge James I. Cohn, but the feds are not done with him just yet. Cohn’s decision represented a blow to federal prosecutors’ hopes to take over all of Rothstein’s assets and distribute them to his victims before attorneys could grab a high percentage of the money in fees. Stettin and his cohorts at Berger-Singerman, the law firm handling the Rothstein Rosenfeldt Adler bankruptcy shouldn’t celebrate too soon. Federal prosecutors are livid and have turned their sites on Stettin, whose reign as a judge and bankruptcy judge have been marred by allegations of impropriety. Lawyers in the Rothstein case were poised to have a “bonanza” before the government looked to intervene, Bob Norman wrote in March, noting that Berger Singerman, the law firm Stettin hired to represent him in the bankruptcy case, requested a fee of more than $1.25 million for work and expenses between November 10 through January 31. The federal government filed a forfeiture motion in April that might have not only required Stettin and co. to hand over the remaining assets but even return legal fees that had already been paid out. Now it looks like Stettin, who told one lawyer in the courthouse crowd he expected to make enough on the Rothstein case to step down as a judge and retire, will get to keep his nest egg after all, but questions persist about his fitness to act as the trustee. Federal prosecutors are investigating Stettin on a series of allegations similar to those raised in November by Miami attorney Richard Sharpstein, according to a source familiar with the matter.
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Stettin Under Fed Microscope | Florida Clarion
Sharpstein’s accusations against Stettin included: Abusing his judicial office and the Miami Dade Courthouse for personal gain by conducting a constitutionally prohibited private law practice while concurrently serving as an appointed sitting Senior Circuit and Associate Fourth District Court of Appeals Judge with chambers and a courtroom in the Miami Dade Courthouse; Filing false sworn financial and gift disclosures with the State of Florida since 1999 that conceal the sources of millions of dollars in payments and mislead as to the activity of his sole proprietorship law firm, Hebert Stettin P.A.; Using the American Arbitration Association as a billing conduit to facilitate the ability of local lawyers and law firms to secretly and indirectly hire and pay Judge Stettin while at the same time appearing in his courtroom; Wielding his judiciary power, under color of state authority as a sitting judge, in private arbitration proceedings to improperly confiscate millions of dollars in assets to fund his law firm’s activity; Appointing “cronies” to a receivership whereby over a span of five years millions of dollars were misappropriated; Accepting his appointment as receiver in the Rothstein scandal given either the real or appearance of conflicts created by Judge Stettin’s ties to members of the Rothstein Law Firm. Such ties include: Judge Stettin’s recruitment by and lengthy collaboration with Judge Barry Stone (now a member of the Rothstein Law Firm), on the 4th District Court of Appeals; Judge Stettin’s service on the 4th DCA with Judge Gary Farmer Sr., father of Rothstein partner Gary Farmer Jr.; alleged scamster Scott Rothstein’s position on the 4th DCA nominating commission; and Gary Farmer Jr.’s relationship with Eric Stettin, Judge Herbert Stettin’s son. Feds are also scrutinizing Berger-Singerman lawyer Charles Lichtman and his arrest for DUI and drug possession to determine why he was not prosecuted. Comments 6 Comments Categories News Author Bryan Lopez
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Stettin Under Fed Microscope | Florida Clarion
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The Florida Clarion is the new progressive voice of Florida, an online media outlet without partisan slant or corporate bent. We'll bring you a look inside the halls of Tallahassee, the power councils of the political establishment, the unions, the county commissions, and the Washington Congressional delegation. Naming names, stating facts, and laying it out: the Florida Clarion.
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