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17 September 2012

Former lawyer goes to prison for bogus campaign scheme

A former lawyer who used to work for the firm of convicted Ponzi fraudster Scott Rothstein has been sentenced to three years in prison for his part in an illegal campaign contributions system.

John McCain: defunct firm was biggest campaign contributor


Steven Lippman, 50, pleaded guilty in May to conspiracy to violate banking, election and tax laws, reports Bloomberg. He admitted to helping Mr Rothstein’s now defunct firm - Rothstein Rosenfeldt & Adler – donate funds to the campaign of 2008 Republican candidate John McCain. The  law firm was the largest contributor to Mr McCain’s campaign.

Mr Lippman told the federal court in Fort Lauderdale that he was ‘horrified’ by his actions, adding he has swayed by the actions of Mr Rothstein – who is serving 50 years for a $1.2 billion Ponzi scheme.

Guilty pleas

Meanwhile, a Chicago lawyer has pleaded guilty to charges of fraud months after her conviction was overturned.

The Chicago Tribune reports that Donna Guerin – a former partner at defunct law firm Jenkens & Gilchrist - entered guilty pleas in federal court in New York to conspiracy to defraud the Internal Revenue Service and tax evasion.

‘With her plea today, we continue the process of holding to account a group of professionals who used their training and expertise to facilitate a fraud, the magnitude of which cannot be overstated,’ US Attorney Preet Bharara said in a statement.

Several other defendants – including the ex-head of Jenkens’ Chicago office Paul Daugerdas – are scheduled to go to trial in April.

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