FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) — Two suspended Broward Sheriff's Office deputies with ties to convicted Ponzi schemer Scott Rothstein now face federal criminal conspiracy charges.
Federal prosecutors filed charges Friday in Fort Lauderdale against 48-year-old Lt. David Benjamin and 47-year-old detective Jeff Poole. They're accused of abusing their law enforcement powers to help Rothstein, who is serving a 50-year prison sentence after pleading guilty to orchestrating the scam that involved investments in nonexistent legal settlements.
According to court documents, Poole faces up to 10 years in prison for conspiring to violate civil rights, while Benjamin could be sentenced to five years for extortion and civil rights violations. Both charges carry fines of up to $250,000.
Both deputies have been serving suspensions with pay since current Sheriff Scott Israel took office last year.