Attorney Russell Adler, a top partner in Scott Rothstein's disgraced Fort Lauderdale law firm, was charged Friday with breaking federal election laws by illegally bundling hundreds of thousands of dollars in donations to the campaigns of GOP presidential nominee John McCain and U.S. Senate candidate Charlie Crist, Florida's former Republican governor.
In a single conspiracy charge, Adler is accused of collaborating with Rothstein and other firm employees to donate the unlawfully bundled donations in 2008 and 2009. Adler and other unnamed co-conspirators at the firm are accused of receiving salary bonuses as reimbursement for those personal expenses.
In 2010, after Rothstein’s arrest on racketeering charges stemming from his $1.2 billion Ponzi scheme, Crist returned the contributions from the law firm and partners. The McCain campaign, however, had already distributed the donations to political action committees in battleground states.
The conspiracy charge filed against Adler, which carries a maximum five-year sentence, is designed as a plea deal that paves the way for the attorney to plead guilty. It avoids a potential racketeering indictment posing the risk of a much longer prison term if he were convicted at trial.
“We're taking a plea to the campaign finance violation,” Adler's attorney, Fred Haddad, told The Miami Herald Friday.
Here's the federal information: Download Adler Information