When Ponzi schemes implode, law enforcement casts a wide net, to catch even peripheral participants, and this week they arrested two of their own. A police lieutenant and a detective in Fort Lauderdale have been charged, in US District Court, with using their official positions to commit civil rights abuses to further the interests of convicted attorney/Ponzi schemer Scott Rothstein, and his associates.
It has been alleged that lt. David Benjamin received $185,000, in cash and jewelry, from Rothstein, and the detective Jeff Poole, to effectuate an arrest, on false charges, of one individual, and to also order another person, a possible witness, to leave the state immediately, or face arrest. Rothstein often employed law enforcement officers as off-duty bodyguards, and for other tasks, some of which reportedly involved using their law enforcement status and privileges. The charges filed here indicate that some of those "duties" crossed the line.
Both defendants worked for the Broward County Sheriff's Office. The filing of a Criminal Information against both officers indicates that they are probably cooperating with the US Attorney's Office. They have been on leave from their law enforcement jobs during the investigation; they were terminated after criminal charges were filed against them.