Fla. lawyer suspected in $1B fraud losing license

AP News
Posted: Nov 18, 2009 11:55 AM

A South Florida lawyer suspected of operating a $1 billion Ponzi scheme is asking for his own disbarment.

A Florida Bar committee has approved the disbarment request submitted by attorney Scott Rothstein. A spokeswoman said Wednesday the final decision must be made by the state Supreme Court.

The FBI says Rothstein sold investments in legal settlements that did not exist. The total amount lost could top $1 billion. No criminal charges have been filed yet.

Once disbarred, Rothstein would no longer be allowed to serve on a panel that nominates appeals court judges. Gov. Charlie Crist appointed Rothstein to that panel in 2008. Rothstein was a major contributor to Crist and many other high-profile politicians nationwide.