08 Oct Florida Ponzi schemer’s aide gets 10-year sentence
By Kevin Gray
MIAMI | Fri Oct 8, 2010 3:50pm EDT
MIAMI (Reuters) – An ex-aide of a Florida lawyer who ran a $1.2 billion Ponzi scheme was sentenced to 10 years in prison on Friday, the latest development in a high-profile case that drew attention to investment fraud in the state.
Debra Villegas, former chief operating officer of a now-defunct Fort Lauderdale law firm at the center of the case, pleaded guilty to money laundering charges earlier this year.
A U.S. federal judge also ordered her to pay $363 million in restitution, her lawyer said.
Villegas, 43, worked at the Rothstein, Rosenfeldt & Adler law firm, whose managing partner, Scott Rothstein, is serving a 50-year jail term after admitting he had conned investors who believed they were buying shares in legal settlements.
“One by one, the dominos in this billion dollar Ponzi scheme are falling,” said U.S. District Attorney Wilfredo Ferrer. “This is not the last to fall.”
Rothstein surrendered to authorities late Read the rest of the article in it’s original location here.