Florida lawyer pleads guilty in $1.2 billion Ponzi scheme

Scott Rothstein, the jailed lawyer who just months ago was a swaggering success story, pleaded guilty Wednesday in Fort Lauderdale federal court to running South Florida's largest investment scam, totaling $1.2 billion.

Dressed in a tan prison jumpsuit and shackled at his ankles and wrists, the disbarred lawyer displayed no emotion as he acknowledged guilt for operating a massive Ponzi scheme that destroyed his law firm, damaged charities and drained the bank accounts of his investors and clients.

Rothstein, 47, did not address the court, other than to answer yes or no to questions from the judge and say that he was taking medication for his cholesterol, blood pressure and anxiety. He looked pale and gray. Rothstein's notorious misdeeds have been compared to those of the world's biggest Ponzi schemer, Bernard Madoff, convicted last year of running a $65 billion scam and sentenced to 150 years.

Prosecutors indicated more arrests were likely as they continue their investigation.

Rothstein's wife, Kim, was defiant compared to her husband, speaking for the first time to the media about the very public scandal.

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