find the latest legal job
Senior Associate - Litigation & Dispute Resolution
Category: Litigation and Dispute Resolution | Location: Melbourne CBD & Inner Suburbs Melbourne VIC
· Come work for a firm ranked in Lawyers Weekly Top 25 Attraction Firms
View details
Associate - Workplace Relations & Safety
Category: Industrial Relations and Employment Law | Location: Brisbane CBD & Inner Suburbs Brisbane QLD
· Employer of choice · Strong team culture
View details
Freelance Lawyers
Category: Banking and Finance Law | Location: All Perth WA
· Freelance opportunities through Vario from Pinsent Masons
View details
Freelance Lawyers
Category: Other | Location: All Adelaide SA
· • Qualified lawyer with a strong academic background
View details
Freelance Lawyers
Category: Other | Location: All Melbourne VIC
· • Qualified lawyer with a strong academic background
View details
Florida lawyer “smoking cigars” while authorities seize assets over Ponzi scheme

Florida lawyer “smoking cigars” while authorities seize assets over Ponzi scheme

Authorities have seized the assets of a well-known Florida lawyer, after he was accused of running a Ponzi scheme believed to have defrauded investors of hundreds of millions of dollars.Although…

Authorities have seized the assets of a well-known Florida lawyer, after he was accused of running a Ponzi scheme believed to have defrauded investors of hundreds of millions of dollars.

Although criminal charges have yet to be laid, authorities swooped this week to seize assets belonging attorney Scott Rothstein, 47, including eight luxury properties, boats, sports cars and bank accounts, believed to be worth over US$18 million.

It is alleged Rothstein, from the firm Rothstein Rosenfeldt Adler, encouraged investors to make up-front payments to people who were due to receive significant financial settlements from employment, harassment and discrimination-related cases, with the investors able to collect the full settlement amount at a later date, while making 20 percent profit on their original investment.

However, prosecutors have claimed no such settlement agreements had ever existed and the entire investment scheme was a fraud, according to court documents tendered this week, and believe many of Rothsteins assets, including a US$6.45 million home, an 87-foot yacht and a fire engine red Ferrari, were bought with proceeds from the fraud.

Alarm bells started ringing for investors in October this year when their scheduled payments failed to appear, and a fortnight ago they alerted US authorities.

Rothstein, well known in Florida society as a significant political donor and philanthropist, apparently sent text messages to colleagues apologising for his conduct and for letting them down while on a recent trip to Morocco, according The Miami Herald.

He later chartered a private jet to return to the US and face FBI investigators, telling a local Miami television that he had made a very serious mistake and planned to make amends, according to a Reuters report.

However, upon his return Rothstein told journalists at The Miami Herald: Rumours of my demise have been greatly exaggerated. Im doing pretty good I am sitting here smoking cigars.

Rothsteins lawyer later repudiated the cigar smoking claim, saying: He is under a lot of pressure I dont want anybody to think he is having a good time.

Partners at the firm have denied having any knowledge of the scheme, which is believed to have been in operation since 2005, and the firm has recently been placed in receivership.

The scheme comes after American financier Bernard Madoff was sentenced to the maximum penalty of 150 years in prison in June this year for masterminding a $50 billion Ponzi scheme, in which a significant number of Floridian investors lost their savings.

Like this story? Read more:

QLS condemns actions of disgraced lawyer as ‘stain on the profession’

NSW proposes big justice reforms to target risk of reoffending

The legal budget breakdown 2017

Florida lawyer “smoking cigars” while authorities seize assets over Ponzi scheme
lawyersweekly logo
Promoted content
Recommended by Spike Native Network
more from lawyers weekly
microphone
Oct 20 2017
Podcast: One of law’s most infamous alumni – in conversation with Julian Morrow
In this episode of The Lawyers Weekly Show, Melissa Coade is joined by The Chaser’s Julian Morrow....
protest
Oct 20 2017
High Court overturns ‘excessive’ anti-protest legislation
Bob Brown’s recent victory in the High Court over the Tasmanian government was a win for fundament...
Blocked
Oct 20 2017
Changes to Australian citizenship laws blocked
Attempts to beef up the requirements to obtain Australian citizenship were thwarted this week, after...
APPOINTMENTS
Allens managing partner Richard Spurio, image courtesy Allens' website
Jun 21 2017
Promo season at Allens
A group of lawyers at Allens have received promotions across its PNG and Australian offices. ...
May 11 2017
Partner exits for in-house role
A Victorian lawyer has left the partnership of a national firm to start a new gig with state governm...
Esteban Gomez
May 11 2017
National firm recruits ‘major asset’
A national law firm has announced it has appointed a new corporate partner who brings over 15 years'...
opinion
Nicole Rich
May 16 2017
Access to justice for young transgender Australians
Reform is looming for the process that young transgender Australians and their families must current...
Geoff Roberson
May 11 2017
The lighter side of the law: when law and comedy collide
On the face of it, there doesn’t seem to be much that is amusing about the law, writes Geoff Rober...
Help
May 10 2017
Advocate’s immunity – without fear or without favour but not both
On 29 March 2017, the High Court handed down its decision in David Kendirjian v Eugene Lepore & ...