A Surfside investment adviser pleaded guilty Wednesday to collaborating with convicted Fort Lauderdale lawyer Scott Rothstein in his $1.2 billion investment scam.
Michael Szafranski, 37, charged with a wire-fraud conspiracy, admitted he received hefty commissions from Rothstein while he advised a major investment group that sank millions of dollars into the lawyer's scheme. It entailed his law firm’s sale of fabricated confidential legal settlements.
Szafranski secretly received those commissions from Rothstein in 2009 while he acted as an “independent verifier” of the legitimacy of the settlement transactions, according to a statement filed with his plea agreement.
Szafranski faces up to five years in prison at his sentencing in Fort Lauderdale federal court on Oct. 21.
Rothstein, now serving a 50-year prison sentence on a racketeering conviction, sold the falsified legal settlements to wealthy investors from Florida to New York.