Scott Rothstein used to be just your average Florida lawyer known to his friends as “The Prince of Darkness.”
Back in 2009 though, he was charged with running a $1 billion ponzi scheme and fled to Morrocco.
He eventually came back, plead guilty, and lead the officials to members of the Gambino crime family. He’s currently in witness protection.
Now his depositions are public (via Wall Street Journal) and there are more sordid details to recount.
Yes, we knew about the boats and cars, the personal stripper at the Ritz Carlton, and even the golden toilet. But his testimony… this is the real gold. In fact, it’s a veritable Dos and Don’ts list for ponzi scheming. So naturally, we had to comb through it and find the most important nuggets.
Actually, we consider these all Don’ts.
Q So you didn't just decide to come back and, like a Bernie Madoff, take your sentence and spend the rest of your life in jail --
A Whoa, whoa, are you suggesting that Bernie Madoff, who worked to help other people that were in the know get away with his crime, that I'm the same? You're not even close... Mr. Madoff should have taken me, and I'm proud to say this, as an example as to what you do when you want to do the right thing. He did the wrong thing. Because if you think he did that by himself, then you don't know anything about how these crimes work.
A: ...there was a lot of marijuana smoking going on in my office, but it wasn't something -- I prefer to drink vodka...I also found out they were actually dealing drugs in the office. I actually tried to put a stop to that.
Q: That was one crime you wouldn't tolerated?
A No, no, it's not that. I didn't want to draw attention. You don't want to have from the middle of your law office a giant Ponzi scheme out of there.
Q: You had had prostitutes in the office, but you wouldn't have pot?
A: You're missing the point. The police also were sleeping with my escorts. You, obviously -- listen, Broward Sheriff's Office, Fort Lauderdale Police Department weren't going to bother me, OK, I could have had all the escorts I wanted. Pot, not a great idea in the office, I don't know why, specifically, it bothered me; but it troubled me, probably because they were actually dealing the pot out of the office while I was in the middle of running a several-hundred-million-dollar Ponzi scheme.
Q Your testimony about the other tentacles to your fraud operation, that involved more than just the confidential settlements? That was one branch of your fraud?
Q But your fraud had other branches?
A Correct...I'm confident as I sit here today that every one of the tentacles of the criminal enterprise that I was running, all flowed back in some way to benefit the Ponzi. Whether it was power -- in any phase, judiciary, law enforcement, banking. Whether it was laundering money for organised crime and all the myriad of things that occurred in between. They were all involved at some way ultimately funding or assisting the Ponzi scheme.
Q You helped other people commit tax fraud, right?
A Yes. My tax fraud was unique to me. I helped other people avoid taxes.
Q Evade them?
A Avoid, evade, not pay.
Q You engaged in public corruption with politicians?
Q You engage in public corruption with law enforcement?
Q You participated in the purchase of political positions?
Q You bribed judges?
Q You were involved in the manipulation of the judiciary?
Q You engaged in mob crime?
A I don't know what you mean.
MR. LAVECCHIO (lawyer): Could I have a point of clarification by what you mean by 'mob
Q Sure. You've already said you laundered money for the mob, right?
Q Were you involved in extortion?
MR. SCHERER (lawyer): I'm sorry. Would you repeat that? I didn't hear the question.
Q And Robin Hood usually means a steal -- stealing from the rich to give to the poor, right?
A That's normally what it means. I was stealing from the rich to give to the richer.
Q Did you threaten anybody with physical harm?
A Personally... I may have said I was going to beat the crap out of someone when they aggravated me but that's not related to the criminality. That's like someone sitting in a bar saying, I would like to sleep with your wife, and me saying, I'll beat the crap out of you if you go near her. It's not the same thing.
A Actually, I attempted to kill myself, yes, there was (sic) two -- two occasions.
Q One was with putting the gun to your head in the shower while were you dressed in a suit, and the other one was pills in Morocco?
A Pills and vodka, yes...
Q What kind of pills were they?
A Xanax and blood pressure medication.
Q OK. Now, we already know that you essentially lied in every aspects of your life in order to get money; but of course, you would never lie in order to get a Rule 35, right?
A No, sir, I absolutely would not.
Q And --
A If I lie and get caught lying, even an little bit, I will die in prison.