Ex-Rothstein exec pleads not guilty in Ponzi scam

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) — A former executive at disbarred attorney Scott Rothstein’s law firm is pleading not guilty to charges that she played a key role in his $1.2 billion Ponzi scheme.

Rothstein firm COO charged with money-laundering conspiracy

Scott Rothstein’s right-hand woman at his Fort Lauderdale law firm — chief operating officer Debra Villegas — helped her boss fabricate legal settlements that he sold to wealthy investors, boosting his $1.2 billion Ponzi scheme until its sudden collapse last October, prosecutors said Tuesday.

Scott Rothstein’s right-hand woman charged in Ponzi scheme

One of Ponzi schemer Scott Rothstein’s closest associates — Debra Villegas, the woman he made his second-in-command at his law firm — is scheduled to face a federal judge Wednesday morning on a money-laundering charge that alleges she was instrumental to his massive investment fraud.