South Florida Law Firm Convicted Of Fraud

Derek ByrdThis month, six attorneys were convicted in a case that included a billion dollar fraud from partners and lawyers at a South Florida firm. The organization’s ex administrator helped prosecutors pin down the attorneys involved in the scheme, in exchange for cutting down her prison stay from ten to five years. 

The administrator, Debra Villagas, is now working with prosecutors in order to appeal her plea bargain to the U.S. District Judge William Zloch.  However, if Villagas and her lawyers succeed, that would mean that the firm’s CFO would also be released sooner than expected  in the upcoming year. 

The former partner of Rothstein Rosenfeldt Adler, is scheduled to serve a 50 year sentence in the federal prison system, but insiders are saying that his time might also be cut short if he chooses to cooperate with federal agents. 

Villagas has helped convict a total of six lawyers from RRA, one from another firm in South Florida and civilians who are not involved in the justice system. Villaga’s scheduled court date in relation to the Rothstein Rosenfeldt Adler  case interfered with her appearance in court for her husband’s murder case.

In a report by the Sun Sentinel, a former county sheriff lieutenant was also placed under arrest for acting as one of Rothstein’s “enforcers.” In a claim, the lieutenant was accused of falsely arresting the ex- spouse of one of Rothstein’s lawyers in order for him to gain full custody of his son. This all came into light after Villegas was placed under questioning from federal agents. 

After RRA’s case became public in 2008, the firm went through a great deal of financial difficulties, until it  declared bankruptcy in early 2009. The investors who were deceived by the law firm, were awarded close to $67 million on behalf of disbarred attorney Scott Rothstein. 

from Derek Byrd’s Law Blog Derek Byrd’s Latest Law Blog Post


Will the Yankees Spend Big Money this Offseason?

Derek ByrdLets face it, year in and year out the New York Yankees have a payroll of over $200 million. Lately, Hal Steinbrenner has vowed to cut the huge spending down. He mentioned that going into last year before eventually pulling the trigger on huge signings like Masahiro Tanaka, Jacoby Ellsbury, and Brian McCann. With many big name free agents already off the market, the Yankees don’t have many guys left to spend the big bucks on. But there are two names, Max Scherzer and James Shields. Will the Yankees swoop in at the last second? Are they waiting for the price to drop on these guys? Lets take a look at what they have done so far.
P Chris Capuano

The Yankees really wanted to bring back P Brandon McCarthy who was stellar after he was traded from the Arizona Diamonbacks but the Yankees felt his price tag of 4 years $48 million was too steep. The Yankees turned to plan B, Chris Capuano. Capuano, who was also acquired last year mid season by the Yankees re-signed with New York for 1 year $5 million. In 12 starts for the Yankees last year, Capuano finished 2-3 with a 4.25 era. He figures to be the fifth starter in the rotation or even long relief should the Yankees go after Scherzer or Shields.

Chase Headley

This signing left a lot of Yankee fans scratching their heads. Back in 2012, Headley finished with a .286 31 home runs and 115 RBIs finishing 5th in the NL MVP voting. He has not been close to those numbers since. Yet the Yankees re-signed Headley to a 4 year $52 million deal after a season that saw him hit .243 13 home runs and 49 RBIs. At 30 years old, he’s nearing the end of his prime, which has not been much. It’s also reported he will be the everyday third baseman over returnee Alex Rodriguez. I understand he had been dealing with a hip injury throughout last year which led to some disappointing numbers but pay him that way. Give him a 1 year deal, a prove it deal, and if he delivers than you can pay him what he currently stands to make over the next 4 years.

The Yankees roster is not as stacked as it has been in the past. Don’t be surprised if the Yankees do go after Max Scherzer. The Yankees have trouble hitting him as an opponent and it would be nice to have him on their side.

from Derek Byrd’s Blog on Cal Ripken Baseball Derek Byrd’s Blog Post on Cal Ripken Baseball