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Scott Rothstein's associate charged with fraud

Financial advisor was charged with 11 counts of committing wire fraud, 1 count of conspiracy

Prosecutors say Michael Szafranski (right) lured investors to Ponzi schemer Scott Rothstein.

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – Financial adviser Michael "Mikey" Szafranski was charged Thursday with conspiring with infamous convicted lawyer Scott Rothstein to swindle millions of dollars from investors who lost their wealth to his $1.4 billion scam.

Szafranski, 36, was charged with conspiracy and committing wire fraud for misleading investors about the financial sustainability of the fabricated legal settlements coming from the Fort Lauderdale law firm's civil lawsuits.

Szafranski, of Surfside, promised wealthy investors sky-high returns and received millions of dollars in compensation, while knowing that what Rothstein was doing was illegal, federal prosecutors said.

Court records show Szfranski and Rothstein were in close contact when the scam was crumbling down in 2009.

"They will destroy me if I lose them $$, begging you," Szafranski said in an e-mail to Rothstein, who was in Morocco at the time.

After appearing in federal court in Fort Lauderdale Thursday, Szafranski was released on a $250,000 bond.