Confirmed: Rothstein Claimed Bodyguard Threatened Him
UPDATED: [Since this was published, Bob Scandiffio told his story and it greatly contradicts the story that Scott Rothstein was telling about him. Scandiffio's story also helps to make sense of why Rothstein appears to have fabricated the story. To read Scandiffio's story, click here.]
Scott Rothstein decided he was going to fire one of his bodyguards, Bob Scandiffio, earlier this year.
But Scandiffio, a gun enthusiast and security worker with longstanding ties to Kim Rothstein's bodyguard and former Plantation police officer Joe Alu, allegedly had other plans.
When Rothstein told Scandiffio he wasn't to come into the RRA law office again, Scandiffio allegedly said that was fine, but he was still going to pay him his salary. Either that, he allegedly told Rothstein, or terrible horrors would befall his entire family.
I have confirmed that Rothstein told this story to numerous people, including former RRA assistant Frank DiGiovanni, better-known as "Frankie D." I have also confirmed it from sources close to the federal investigation. Joe Alu told me that Scandiffio had been fired and said he'd heard rumors that Scandiffio had threatened Rothstein but said he didn't know if they were true. He and Scandiffio had a falling
out, he said. "I found out he lied to me," Alu said rather cryptically of Scandiffio, who was best man at his wedding.
I haven't been able to contact Scandiffio, though I'd really like to hear his story. One source who was close to Rothstein prior to his fall said that Scandiffio was not somebody Rothstein would trifle with -- even when Rothstein was paying for protection from the Fort Lauderdale Police Department.
Rothstein paid the 49-year-old Scandiffio his salary after he fired him, sources say.
As an aside, Rothstein also claimed somebody was out to get him after I published the "Jewish Avenger" post on this blog. He commented that I had mischaracterized our conversation, so I called him early the next morning to ask him what exactly he was alleging I got wrong. "Oh that?" he said, "I'm not worried about that anymore. But I have to say, you have some pretty crazy fans." He then proceeded to tell me that someone called him that morning and threatened the lives of his wife, parents, and daughter if he didn't leave me alone. I couldn't believe it, but he told me it put the spat we had in perspective and that he might even have his afternoon cigar early that day to help him calm down. The funniest thing, in hindsight, was that he said he was going to report to BSO instead of the Fort Lauderdale Police Department so there would be no question of whether he was pulling any favors from FLPD, which he was paying to protect him at the time. I didn't know that he'd paid BSO Lt. David Benjamin at least $30,000 for unknown reasons or that Benjamin and Undersheriff Tom Wheeler had both flown on his jet to New York for the Jets game at the time (the same flight Chief Adderly was on). Here's an email Rothstein sent me that day:
From: "Scott Rothstein" email@example.com>
To: "'firstname.lastname@example.org'" email@example.com>
Cc: "Grant J. Smith" firstname.lastname@example.org>
Thank you for taking my call this morning. I am writing to you with the specific request that this remain off the record as it involves an issue pertaining to the safety of my family. I am copying grant as I made him aware of what has occurred.
As a courtesy, I advised you this morning that I had received a death threat from someone saying that they were protecting you and that if I did not stop attacking you that both me and my family would pay dearly... the rest of the call was quite graphic. I do not believe that you had anything to do with this. But there are nuts out there who would think nothing of harming me and my family. I have dealt with this for many years and it is most draining. Nothing is worth this.
I am working with BSO to handle this in the best manner for me and my family. Please do not publish anything about this at this point in time. The police do not believe that this should be published.
I am meeting with someone from BSO at 11:30 at my office. I will contact you again at that time strictly as a courtesy.
Please honor my request. This is not a game.
Be well.... and please take care of yourself and your family.
Rothstein never contacted me about that again. I asked BSO for a report on the alleged threat and was told Rothstein never filed one.
Public records show that Scandiffio tangled with the law back in 1994 after being arrested on theft and worthless check charges. It's not clear if he was ever convicted, however. More recently, in 2006, he sued the Plantation Police Department after it seized a pistol from him. Court records show that he won that suit and that the gun was returned to him.
Rothstein at the time represented the Plantation police union.
"Bobby is from Brooklyn, and he's got 1 percent body fat, he's always heavily armed, and he's just a bad motherfucker," said one source. "When he wasn't at the gym or the target range, he was watching the [RRA law firm security] monitors to see what was going on."
Here's the kicker: When Rothstein fled to Morocco, he sent for Scandiffio, who flew to Casablanca and returned to Fort Lauderdale with the disgraced lawyer. It's still not known why Scandiffio was asked to go on the trip or what he did while in Morocco.
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