Was Accused Ponzi Schemer Scott Rothstein Running Dirty Russian Money?

Scott Rothstein

Scott Rothstein, a well-connected south Florida lawyer, is accused of running a major Ponzi scheme out of his 150-person law firm, Rothstein Rosenfeldt Adler.

It’s still unclear exactly how much he lost, but it looks like hundreds of millions of dollars, not billions.

And the chatter in the South Florida financial community is that Rothstein was managing (or possibly scamming) Russian money.

That’s not confirmed, as with many details in this fast developing story. Here’s a recap:

Rothstein has not been arrested, but was questioned by authorities after returning to Florida on a private jet yesterday from Morocco, where he apparently considered suicide.

Meanwhile, Rothstein’s nearly broke firm has removed him as president, saying in a complaint that the partner “allegedly orchestrated a substantial misappropriation of funds from investor trust accounts” related to the “sale of interests in structured settlements” that guaranteed 20% returns in as little as three months.

It’s still being determined how much “substantial” is, but the New York Times puts it at up to $400 million.

Rothstein was a big campaign donor, and politicians, especially Republicans, are scrambling to give back the now tainted contributions.

Here’s the complaint:

Scott Rothstein Complaint

Image: South Florida Business Journal

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