Michael Szafranski told a crowded courtroom Monday that he betrayed his family and friends, lied, sinned and violated both U.S. law and the strict religious rules he was raised to follow.
"I come before you ashamed, embarrassed and humiliated by my actions," Szafranski told U.S. District Judge William Dimitrouleas before being sentenced for helping Ponzi schemer Scott Rothstein rip off millions of dollars from investors, including members of his synagogue. "To say I am remorseful is an understatement."
Szafranski, 37, of Surfside, was sentenced to 2.5 years in federal prison after the judge agreed to follow a recommendation from the prosecution and defense. He pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud conspiracy in July.
He sobbed as he hugged his wife goodbye and was taken into custody in the Fort Lauderdale courtroom.
Szafranski said greed drove him to become a "despicable person" and that he has done everything he can think of to try to atone for what he did.
Szafranski "made full restitution" to victims five years ago when he paid more than $6.5 million to the Rothstein Rosenfeldt Adler law firm bankruptcy trustee, his attorney wrote in court records. That amount represented more than 90 percent of his family's assets, the defense said.
Tuesday, October 27, 2015
Michael Szafranski sentenced to 2 1/2 years
Judge Dimitrouleas issued the sentence in this Rothstein-related case. From the Sun-Sentinel: