Judge in Fla. orders Rothstein assets preserved

AP News
Posted: Dec 07, 2009 2:07 PM

A federal judge is making sure nothing happens to assets seized from a South Florida lawyer charged with operating a $1 billion Ponzi scheme.

U.S. District Judge James I. Cohn ordered Monday that none of disbarred attorney Scott Rothstein's assets are prematurely sold or transferred or damaged. The assets would eventually be sold to compensate fraud victims if Rothstein is convicted.

The assets include 24 properties in Florida, New York and Rhode Island and numerous exotic cars included Ferraris and Rolls-Royces.

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Rothstein has pleaded not guilty to racketeering and fraud charges that carry a potential 100-year prison sentence. Prosecutors say Rothstein offered supposedly lucrative investments in fabricated legal settlements.