Bates, by comparison to Kitterman, played multiple roles for Rothstein, according to his indictment.
Bates is accused of arranging to have an attorney in his Plantation law firm, Koppel & Bates, meet with an investment group’s representative to say the firm had referred numerous civil cases to Rothstein’s law firm. Based on that falsehood, the indictment said, the investors continued to sink more than $140 million into Rothstein’s scheme in 2009.
Bates also agreed to write a phony opinion letter saying he represented a group that invested in Rothstein’s “confidential” legal settlements and vouched for them. Rothstein then used the letter to lure more investors, according to his indictment.
Later that year, Bates switched roles. Rothstein wrote a letter in Bates’ name, on the Bates’ law firm stationery, in which Bates falsely claimed he represented a plaintiff in a purported settlement deal in order to induce investors to put more money into Rothstein’s scheme.
And in September 2009, one month before Rothstein’s scheme collapsed, Bates switched roles yet again, according to his indictment.
Bates is accused of writing another letter for Rothstein that was used as part of a separate ruse to defraud two wealthy clients. Bates is accused of assisting his boss in a civil case in which Rothstein swindled car dealer Ed Morse and his wife out of $57 million — the result of an actual legal dispute over construction of the couple’s home in Boca Raton and a fabricated legal fight over an air conditioning system in the couple’s summer home in Maine.
Rothstein, who once lived in a waterfront mansion and chartered private jets, is serving a 50-year prison sentence in a witness-protection facility after pleading guilty to his racketeering conspiracy in 2010. But the disbarred lawyer has been cooperating with prosecutors since his Fort Lauderdale empire crashed, in the hope of slicing years off his prison term.
In recent years, he has testified in parallel civil and bankruptcy cases that he blew $150 million on a “rock-star lifestyle” that allowed him to create the illusion of power to peddle his Ponzi scheme.