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Steven Lippman, Scott Rothstein Partner, Charged in Scheme
Steven Lippman, the former law partner for Scott Rothstein, has now been charged with conspiracy to break federal election laws, commit bank fraud and defraud the IRS. Rothstein ran a Ponzi scheme. Lippman is now the ninth person charged in connection with the billion-dollar scheme operated by Rothstein. Lippman is 49 and is from Plantation and was illegally reimbursed for tens of thousands of dollars in campaign contributions given to the presidential campaign of John McCain, according to prosecutors working on the case.
“In one instance, Lippman made a $67,800 contribution to McCain-Palin Victory 2008. Lippman, in turn, received a check from RRA in the amount of $77,500, which constituted reimbursement of the funds he used to make the contribution,” stated a press release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office. “The check was fraudulently backdated to reflect that it was issued six days prior to the date of the actual contribution and the memo section of the check stated “‘bonus.’”
Lippman has also been accused of running a bank fraud scheme along with Rothstein that used check-kiting from a law firm account referred to as ‘LVS account,’ according to Local 10.
“RRA was experiencing financial difficulties and required a source of funds to maintain the law firm’s operations,” stated the press release. “Lippman maintained a bank account from a prior law firm where he had been a partner … around February 2006, co-conspirator Rothstein requested that Lippman … float checks between and among certain bank accounts maintained by RRA, a practice commonly known as ‘check kiting.’ By simultaneously issuing and depositing checks between the LVS account and the RRA accounts, co-conspirator Rothstein and defendant Lippman would artificially inflate posted balances in each of the checking accounts, which allowed them to unlawfully obtain beneficial financing for RRA from financial institutions during the ‘float’ period, i.e., the time that it took for the checks to clear.”
“For example, the Information alleges that from February 2006 through February 2008, Lippman issued checks in amounts ranging from $4,000 to $400,000, totaling approximately $10,311,688, from the LVS account. At the time many of the checks were written, there were insufficient funds in the account of LVS to cover those checks. Defendant Lippman also deposited into the LVS account checks issued from RRA accounts in amounts ranging from $37,500 to $330,000, totaling approximately $10,664,987. Lippman and other co-conspirators engaged in this fraudulent conduct to create the appearance that RRA was an affluent and successful law firm and to gain additional time to meet the financial obligations of RRA.”
Lippman has also been accused of defrauding the IRS in the scheme.
“Lippman and co-conspirator Rothstein agreed that Lippman would be paid a base salary and be given an expense account for which he would be fraudulently reimbursed for personal expenditures disguised as deductible business expenses,” the release stated. “This was done so that Lippman and RRA could avoid paying additional federal income and employment taxes. In addition, Lippman was paid from both the operating account and the payroll account of RRA, but would only receive an IRS Form W-2 reflecting the moneys paid to him through the payroll account. Lippman would not report to the Internal Revenue Service the moneys paid to him by RRA for expenses.”