Showing posts from October, 2015

Ponzi Scheme Adviser Receives Significant Benefits from Plea Bargain

Law360   is reporting that a Florida investment adviser who served as a "verifier" for $200 million worth of transactions related to the   Scott Rothstein   $1.2 billion Ponzi scheme has been sentenced to 30 months in prison.  Given the original charges in the case and the significant loss figures associated with his actions, the investment adviser, Michael Szafranski, faced a possible sentence of 20 plus years in prison if he had proceeded to trial and lost.  The fact that the government was willing and able to offer him a plea deal that resulted in only 30 months in prison indicates once again the immense leverage available to the government to structure favorable bargains, particularly in white collar cases.   Szafranski was originally charged with 11 counts of wire fraud and one count of conspiracy.  Each wire fraud count carried a potential 20 year sentence and the conspiracy count carried a potential 5 year sentence.  Therefore, the maximum sentence available if th