find the latest legal job
Corporate Counsel and Company Secretary
Category: Generalists - In House | Location: Newcastle, Maitland & Hunter NSW
· Highly-respected, innovative and entrepreneurial Not-for-Profit · Competency based Board
View details
Chief Counsel and Company Secretary
Category: Generalists - In House | Location: Newcastle, Maitland & Hunter NSW
· Dynamic, high growth organisation · ASX listed market leader
View details
In-house Projects Lawyer | Renewables / Solar | 2-5 Years PQE
Category: Generalists - In House | Location: All Australia
· Help design the future · NASDAQ Listed
View details
Property lawyer - Melbourne
Category: Property Law | Location: Melbourne CBD & Inner Suburbs Melbourne VIC
· Impressive client list, national firm · Well-led and high-performing team
View details
Senior family lawyer - Melbourne
Category: Family Law | Location: Melbourne CBD & Inner Suburbs Melbourne VIC
· Outstanding national firm · High-calibre family law team
View details
US lawyer caught out in McCain campaign

US lawyer caught out in McCain campaign

A former lawyer from the now defunct law firm Rothstein, Rosenfeldt & Adler (RRA) has been charged with illegally enabling the biggest contribution to the presidential campaign of republican John McCain.

A former partner of convicted Ponzi schemer Scott Rothstein, Steven Lippman was charged with conspiring to violate federal election laws by channelling money from his bosses into the failed 2008 McCain campaign.

As Bloomberg reports, Lippman is also alleged to have fabricated lawsuit settlements and arranged to evade taxes and draw cheques on accounts with insufficient funds.

Lippman, 49, is the eighth individual accused of assisting Rothstein, who is now serving 50 years in prison for running one of the largest ($1.45 billion) Ponzi schemes in US history out of his Florida firm.

Rothstein duped investors into parting with large sums of cash to buy stakes in legal settlements his firm had reputedly struck in employment disputes. It was later found that the settlements were created by Rothstein and his co-conspirator, Debra Villegas, the former chief operating officer at his firm.

Settlements were faked using forged documents and ploys, such as having accomplices pose as bank officials.

Folklaw finds it hard to believe that, as Rothstein argued in 2010, Villegas was the only one at RRA who knew of the scheme, especially considering Lippman (a shareholder at RRA) was allegedly reimbursed for his contribution with money for patio furniture, home renovations, a golf membership and a $134,000 Maserati.

Despite McCain reportedly donating all of the Rothstein contributions to charity when the fraud allegations surfaced in November 2009, prosecutors argued that Lippman “dramatically increased the political influence and power” of RRA by acting as a “straw donor”, who was illegally reimbursed.

Lippman is facing up to five years in prison.

“[Rothstein’s Ponzi scheme] success depended, in no small part, on the complicity of his colleagues and associates like Steven Lippman,” chief Florida prosecutor Wifredo Ferrer (who was, somewhat ironically, nominated to the position by Obama in 2010) told Bloomberg.

Lippman’s lawyer Bruce Zimet appears to be confused about his line of defence, telling reporters that Lippman’s acts “do not relate to the Ponzi scheme. Though they may have had some effect on it ...”

The case, U.S. v. Lippman, continues in the U.S. District Court, Florida.

Like this story? Read more:

QLS condemns actions of disgraced lawyer as ‘stain on the profession’

NSW proposes big justice reforms to target risk of reoffending

The legal budget breakdown 2017

US lawyer caught out in McCain campaign
lawyersweekly logo
Promoted content
Recommended by Spike Native Network
more from lawyers weekly
Warning
Aug 23 2017
NT Law Society sounds alarm on mandatory sentencing
The Law Society Northern Territory has issued a warning over mandatory sentencing, saying it hasn’...
Unite
Aug 22 2017
Professionals unite in support of marriage equality
The presidents of representative bodies for solicitors, barristers and doctors in NSW have come toge...
Aug 21 2017
Is your firm on the right track for gig economy gains?
Promoted by Crowd & Co. The way we do business, where we work, how we engage with workers, ev...
APPOINTMENTS
Allens managing partner Richard Spurio, image courtesy Allens' website
Jun 21 2017
Promo season at Allens
A group of lawyers at Allens have received promotions across its PNG and Australian offices. ...
May 11 2017
Partner exits for in-house role
A Victorian lawyer has left the partnership of a national firm to start a new gig with state governm...
Esteban Gomez
May 11 2017
National firm recruits ‘major asset’
A national law firm has announced it has appointed a new corporate partner who brings over 15 years'...
opinion
Nicole Rich
May 16 2017
Access to justice for young transgender Australians
Reform is looming for the process that young transgender Australians and their families must current...
Geoff Roberson
May 11 2017
The lighter side of the law: when law and comedy collide
On the face of it, there doesn’t seem to be much that is amusing about the law, writes Geoff Rober...
Help
May 10 2017
Advocate’s immunity – without fear or without favour but not both
On 29 March 2017, the High Court handed down its decision in David Kendirjian v Eugene Lepore & ...