Tuesday, February 23, 2016

A bad day for Broward lawyers

First is this report from Paula McMahon about a lawyer charged in a horrific child porn case:

Broward lawyer, arrested on federal child porn charges, is also accused of abusing two underage girls, according to court records.

David Rothenberg, 47, was arrested Saturday at his Margate home. An undercover investigation revealed he was logging on to a "daddaughtersex" chat room from the Internet protocol address of his Fort Lauderdale law firm and trying to persuade a stranger to let him have sex with her 13-year-old daughter, authorities said.

Rothenberg did not realize he was communicating with an undercover officer for about six weeks.

Authorities said they moved swiftly to arrest Rothenberg on the child porn charges when they found evidence he was sexually abusing a real teenage girl.

When agents from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and the FBI's taskforce on crimes against children went to arrest him, they uncovered evidence that he was abusing a second underage girl in Broward County, according to the criminal complaint.

Rothenberg, who said he is married but has no children, has not yet indicated if he will fight the charges.


Rothenberg came to the attention of law enforcement Jan. 13 when he chatted online with an undercover officer from the Vermont State Attorney General's office, authorities said. The officer was posing as a divorced mother with two children in the "daddaughtersex" chat room.

Rothenberg, using online nicknames that included "D Roth," asked if the "mother" would "be accepting of" letting her 13-year-old girl be "sexually explored and cultivated by a more strong man in her life," investigators wrote.

In the chats, Rothenberg told the undercover officer he had sexually exploited an underage girl and said the abuse was ongoing. He also explained how he had access to her, agents wrote.

Investigators traced the online Internet protocol address he was using to the Fort Lauderdale law firm where Rothenberg worked. During chats that continued into February, he revealed he was a lawyer and gave the undercover officer his birth date when he said he was celebrating his birthday. Investigators said he also sent a beach scene photo they traced to South Florida.

Oh, and then there was this lawyer who was forging judges' signatures on order. Not good:

Miami lawyer is facing multiple forgery charges after investigators found he forged the signatures of seven different Broward County and Circuit judges on documents related to civil cases involving structured settlements, according to court records.

Jose Manuel Camacho was arrested in October after Broward County Judges Marina Garcia-Wood and Carlos Rodriguez found their forged signatures on legal documents filed with the clerk of courts.

After the judges complained, Broward Sheriff's Detective John Calabro interviewed them and five other judges. In all, Camacho, 46, was accused of forging 114 signatures. The other judges were Eileen O'Connor, John Luzzo, John Bowman, Thomas Lynch and Mily Rodriguez Powell.

Camacho worked for the Miami-based Camacho Law Group and graduated from the University of Miami Law School. He was admitted to the Florida Bar in April 2000.

In structured settlement cases, someone expecting a large payout in installments over a period of time will negotiate a deal with a buyer who agrees to pay a lump sum immediately in exchange for the future payments. Judges have to sign off on the transactions and will reject them if they conclude the original recipient of the payments is not getting a fair deal.

According to an arrest report, Camacho admitted forging the judges' signatures and filing the orders with the clerk of courts.

The case against Camacho was originally assigned to Broward Circuit Judge Matthew Destry, but because it involved other judges as victims, Destry recused himself. He asked Broward Chief Administrative Judge Peter Weinstein to have it transferred to another jurisdiction.

The case is now being handled by Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Ellen Sue Venzner. Assistant Broward State Attorney Ryan Kelley is continuing to prosecute.


Ware said...

If you are going to forge orders, do it like Scott Rothstein did. He forged orders that convinced Ed Morse to give him $55 million.

Jim Moon said...

I just looked him up on the bar website and he is delinquent on his dues and shouldn't have been practicing. No one ever bothered to look him up. Interesting.