Rothstein Law Firm Lawyer Christina Kitterman Sentenced to Five Years
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Christina Kitterman, a former lawyer of the now-defunct Rothstein Rosenfeldt Adler was sentenced last week to five years in federal prison for impersonating a Florida Bar official to help sustain Rothstein's massive Ponzi scheme.
According to court documents, though Kitterman may not have known about Rothstein's $1.4 billion Ponzi scheme, she was perfectly aware that she was committing fraud and false impersonation when she pretended to be a senior disciplinary official for the Florida Bar.
U.S. District Judge Daniel T. K. Hurley, while sentencing Kitterman, commented "We forget sometimes how devious, how corrupt, how far-reaching the tentacles of corruption can be."
Hurley also observed that Kitterman had lied to jurors when claiming that she didn't identify herself as the head of the Florida Bar's Fort Lauderdale office during a conference call, as alleged. During the hearing, Kitterman said, "I'm not here, Your Honor, to make any excuses; I accept responsibility." She also admitted, "I made a phone call that hurt people. If I could take back that phone call, I would."
She told the court that she had a very complicated relationship with Rothstein who was an adjunct professor in her law school at Nova Southeastern University. Rothstein had helped her to rehabilitate from being a drug abuser and alcoholic. He also became her mentor and gave her a job.
Kitterman's defense emphasized that she too was a "victim" of Rothstein, but Assistant U.S. Attorney LaVecchio said, "She is no victim … She willfully participated in a fraud and she willfully lied about it. That doesn't make her a victim."
Jurors had already found that she had impersonated a senior bar official, Adria Quintela over the phone, and helped Rothstein to continue defrauding investors even after they became suspicious. According to prosecutors, the phone call made by Kitterman, helped Rothstein to continue his Ponzi scheme for another six months before investors filed their first civil lawsuit.
Rothstein, who is serving a 50-year prison sentence, was called upon to testify in Kitterman's trial, and he told the court that he had a sexual relationship with Kitterman, and also that she was friendly with mobsters and made political donations which were reimbursed by Rothstein.
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