Bernie Madoff is alive in prison, but his extreme Ponzi scheme living has led to more and charges brought against other Ponzi schemes. Now comes news that the Securities and Exchange Commission has charged two individuals “who provided the biggest influx of investor funds into one of the largest-ever Ponzi schemes in South Florida.”
The SEC site noted that the SEC alleges that George Levin and Frank Preve from Fort Lauderdale area raised more than $157 million from 173 investors in less than two years. Today’s allegations are that they issued promissory notes from Levin’s company and interests in a private investment fund they operated.
The SEC noted that they used the investor funds to purchase discounted legal settlements from former Florida attorney Scott Rothstein through his law firm Rothstein Rosenfeldt and Adler PA. Another charge is that the settlements Rothstein sold were not real and the supposed plaintiffs and defendants did not exist.
Rothstein reportedly used the funds in classic Ponzi scheme fashion to make payments due other investors and support his lavish lifestyle.
Apparently some bad guys do get caught. The SEC report says that Rothstein’s Ponzi scheme collapsed in October 2009 and that he is currently serving a 50-year prison sentence.
JON C. OGG