Former Rothstein Rosenfeldt Adler lawyer Christina Kitterman learned she will spend the next five years in federal prison today, for impersonating a Florida Bar official. Her actions were all in attempt to help keep Scott Rothstein’s massive investment scheme afloat.
Jurors found Kitterman guilty of impersonating Adria Quintela, the head of the Bar’s Fort Lauderdale office. She used the ruse when calling Rothstein’s investors to persuade them to continue to give money to the schemer. Prosecutors Lawrence LaVecchio and Paul Schwartz say that call helped the Ponzi scheme thrive for another six months when the investors decided not to file a civil lawsuit that would have exposed his scheme in 2009.
Senior U.S. District Judge Daniel T.K. Hurley concluded that Kitterman did not know about Rothstein’s $1.4 billion Ponzi scheme, but did know that she was committing fraud when she made that call.
“I’m not here, Your Honor, to make any excuses; I accept responsibility,” Kitterman stated. “I made a phone call that hurt people. If I could take back that phone call, I would.”
Kitterman’s family believes that the lawyer was a loyal friend who was manipulated by Rothstein. Kitterman herself stated that she and Rothstein had a “complicated” relationship, which began when she was a law student and he was an adjunct professor. Rothstein provided her with a job and became her mentor, and eventually helped her find a rehab facility for treatment of drug and alcohol abuse.
When Kitterman’s team called Rothstein on the stand, he gave a different account of their interactions, stating that they had a sexual relationship, that she was friendly with mobsters and that she was involved in altering records to protect herself from a possible Bar complaint.
Kitterman was found guilty of three counts of wire fraud. About 30 of Kitterman’s friends and family attended the hearing and watched as the bailiff took her directly to jail after the sentencing.
Kitterman plans to appeal the verdict.
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