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Ex-Adviser Gets 2.5 Years in Prison in $1.2B Ponzi Scheme

3 Sentenced in Connection With Teen Sex Trafficking
Posted at 3:05 PM, Oct 26, 2015
and last updated 2015-10-26 15:05:00-04

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) — A former investment adviser has been sentenced to 2.5 years in prison for his role in the $1.2 billion Ponzi scheme operated by disbarred attorney Scott Rothstein.

Michael Szafranski got less than the five-year maximum Monday because of his cooperation with prosecutors against others in the scam. Szafranski pleaded guilty to wire fraud conspiracy earlier this year.

Szafranski also repaid investors $6.5 million.

Prosecutors say Szafranski lured investors to Rothstein through various deceptions, including assurances he reviewed confidential legal settlements that did not actually exist. Rothstein's scam was based on investments in these fake settlements.

More than two dozen other people have been convicted in the Rothstein scam, operated out of his former Fort Lauderdale law office until its October 2009 collapse. Rothstein himself is serving a 50-year prison sentence.