Scott Rothstein Ponzi/Fraud Probe May Involve $1 Billion

The probe into the business affairs of Fort Lauderdale attorney Scott Rothstein may involve more than $1 billion directed to a Ponzi and fraud scheme, the FBI said today.

Earlier estimates had placed the total at up to $500 million, and the FBI has made a public appeal for potential victims to provide information.

Separately, new allegations emerged that Rothstein had fleeced an 88-year-old Florida businessman out of as much as $57 million in a single deal. The Fort Lauderdale Sun Sentinel reported that the alleged monumental theft involved the forged signatures of a federal judge and a federal appeals court judge on fraudulent court documents.

The case is riveting the Miami area. No immediate arrests are anticipated, but prosecutors have seized assets tied to Rothstein.

Rothstein was a friend of the Ed Morse family. Morse made a fortune in the car business, and attorneys now say Rothstein took advantage of Ed Morse’s age to dupe him into believing he had to post a enormous bonds totaling $57 million to enforce a judgment in a case that involved a dispute over interior decorations.

Here is the FBI’s public request for information on Rothstein:

The Miami Division of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Miami Field Office of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) are seeking information from individuals who have invested in the Rothstein Structured Settlement Investment (RSSI) or from individuals who have information that would be helpful to the investigation. To facilitate information gathering, the FBI has established a dedicated e-mail address and an informational telephone line 1-800-CALL-FBI, “Rothstein Option.”

Details of the investigation cannot be discussed at this time, as the investigation is ongoing. However, the FBI and IRS are seeking to identify victims and to obtain any information to determine the extent of any potential fraud.

In an effort to determine the scope of the matter and the amount of losses that may be involved, investigators are requesting that individuals provide:

  • Basic contact information (name, address, telephone numbers, e-mail address.)
  • Amount of investments/losses with the Rothstein Structured Settlement Investment.
  • Whether you can verify your investments by providing the most recent statements.
  • Any additional information that may be helpful.

Information may be provided via dedicated e-mail address Rothstein.Investment@ic.fbi.gov or to informational telephone line 1-800-CALL-FBI, “Rothstein Option” (1-800-225-5324.) If you have investigative information that may aid the criminal investigation, you may also submit it via email or telephone. For those who would like to return funds received from Rothstein please call the 1-800 number and someone will get back with you with specific instructions on how to return the funds.

Hard copy documentation may be mailed to:

FBI Victim Assistance Program
Rothstein Investment
16320 NW 2nd Avenue
Miami, Florida 33169

If it is determined that you are a victim, the FBI will be in touch with you. Please note that due to the expected number of responses, it may be several days before you are contacted.

Read the story on Rothstein’s alleged fleecing of 88-year-old Ed Morse in the Sun Sentinel. (Look on the left side of the page, near the top, for links to the allegedly forged court documents.)

About the Author

4 Responses to “Scott Rothstein Ponzi/Fraud Probe May Involve $1 Billion”

  1. From Mike Florio’s Pro Football Talk blog:

    “Rothstein’s law firm, Rothstein Rosenfeldt & Adler, is widely known in the Miami area as “RRA.” After the alleged Ponzi scheme began to recently unravel, a league source told us that RRA apparently has invested in Goal Line Management, a sports representation firm whose clients include Steelers coach Mike Tomlin and Buccaneers coach Raheem Morris.”

    http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2009/11/15/alleged-south-florida-ponzi-scheme-could-have-nfl-overlap/

      (Quote)

  2. Hi Glim,

    GlimDropper: “Rothstein’s law firm, Rothstein Rosenfeldt & Adler, is widely known in the Miami area as “RRA.” After the alleged Ponzi scheme began to recently unravel, a league source told us that RRA apparently has invested in Goal Line Management, a sports representation firm whose clients include Steelers coach Mike Tomlin and Buccaneers coach Raheem Morris.”

    Thanks for sharing that. The Ponzi universe apparently has spread to infect otherwise legitimate enterprises.

    The context is different than that included in your note above, but Bob Guenther announced that a member of the NFL family and some police officers somehow got roped into Golden Panda.

    “I will call the organizer of the group, a female Irving Texas Police officer and ask her permission, among the group were active and retired officers from Texas and and California,” Guenther said.

    “I was able to secure a medium 5 figure return of funds for Joe Shoop, author of the Breakfast Club, also secured a check for a high profile Dallas Cowboy executive.. I dont think any of these three would mind me mentioning their name, I will ask..”

    http://patrickpretty.com/2009/03/26/editorial-guenther-should-step-down-from-asdmba/comment-page-1/#comment-1921

    Patrick

      (Quote)

  3. It’s not just in the US. Canadian football players have been caught up in similar schemes.

    http://www.vancouversun.com/sports/Friendship+forged+football+field+shattered+alleged+Ponzi+scheme/2221365/story.html

    And that’s what caught friends and former teammates off-guard when they found out recently the longtime Saskatchewan Roughrider lost his entire CFL pension to an alleged Ponzi scheme based in Calgary — and blames a former teammate with betraying his trust.

    It’s all part of the IFFL scheme allegedly run by Milowe Brost and Gary Sorenson.

    This September, two Calgary men — Milowe Brost, who ran Capital Alternatives and the IFFL, and Gary Sorenson of Merendon Mining Corp. Ltd. — were charged with theft and fraud related to the alleged swindle that attracted up to $400 million in investments.

    Here’s a headline from the Vancouver Sun posted last night on their website.

    “‘Ponzipalooza’ has hit North America, financial regulators say”

    http://www.vancouversun.com/news/Ponzipalooza+North+America+financial+regulators/2224730/story.html

    Hopefully regulators in Canada become more proactive in shutting these schemes down.

      (Quote)

Leave a Reply