A candidate for DeKalb Superior Court has some legal problems of his own.
Michael Rothenberg was indicted by a DeKalb County grand jury July 17 on six felony counts of theft by taking, according to a statement by the office of DeKalb County District Attorney Robert James.
“Shocked is my reaction, beyond that I just found out about it and I need to make some calls and I can’t discuss it any further,” said Rothenberg when reached after the indictment.
Rothenberg, a Decatur attorney, is currently on the DeKalb County ballot to unseat Superior Court Judge Gail Flake.
According to the district attorney’s office, Rothenberg received more than $1.3 million in funds from a Colorado-based investment group named Winterhawk Energy and Development Corporation for an investment deal.
“Michael Rothenberg unlawfully transferred $440,000 into accounts that he controlled and then illegally used those funds for his own personal use,” James said. “He would frequent local DeKalb County spots such as Farm Burger, J. Christopher’s and Walmart on other people’s dimes.
“This isn’t just a clear violation of the law, but also a violation of the trust of the investors of this development corporation,” James said.
Some of those funds were redirected into various accounts controlled by Rothenberg, including a campaign account and a personal banking account, according to the indictment.
Between March and November 2010, Rothenberg allegedly used the funds at various businesses including the Marcus Jewish Community Center of Atlanta, Massage Associates of Atlanta, Walmart, Enterprise Rent-A-Car, three local newspapers and various restaurants.