Yesterday's deposition of former Rothstein Rosenfeldt Adler general counsel David Boden was by all accounts a real weepfest.
Boden, who worked with Scott Rothstein directly on the Ponzi scheme investments and made $500,000 a year at RRA, was "tearful," according to the Sun-Sentinel, while the Daily Business Review noted that Boden "cried several times." He may have cried while talking about other people crying, like Irene "I Don't Want to Go to Jail" Stay, former chief financial officer for RRA, whom he said ran out of the room in tears when questioned about the plundered trust accounts on Friday, October 30.
That was the day Boden and others at the firm learned that Rothstein had fled the country. Boden told bankruptcy attorneys that RRA lawyers had learned the news that their captain had abandoned ship from "someone" at the Broward Sheriff's Office.
Hmmm, wonder who that someone was? Though Boden apparently didn't specify the BSO informant, sources have told me it
was, naturally, Lt. David Benjamin, who at the time was Sheriff Al Lamberti's chief executive officer and right-hand man.
Benjamin, a good Rothstein friend, escorted Rothstein to his waiting G5 at Fort Lauderdale Executive Airport. Former Rothstein bodyguard Bob Scandiffio, who met Rothstein in Morocco, told me that Rothstein had said that Benjamin was called out to the airport for one purpose: to make sure Rothstein could get millions of dollars in cash out of the country without any problem from Customs.
Sources have told me that Benjamin later called RRA lawyer Grant Smith and asked him why Rothstein left the country. And that, folks, is how the law firm learned that their leader had run away.
After Stay ran away, Boden and Stuart Rosenfeldt contacted TD Bank's Frank Spinosa, who sent them RRA bank statements that revealed that the firm's trust accounts had been looted by Rothstein. In a week, the accounts had gone from $13 million to $720,000, according to the DBR.
The Review's Julie Kay also wrote about Boden's account of RRA attorney Marc Nurik's role, in which he basically portrayed Nurik as a traitor to the firm.
The same day, firm partner Marc Nurik told them he received an e-mail from Rothstein saying he was in London. Boden wept as he related how Nurik told the partners he was resigning to represent Rothstein. Nurik handed the men the names of three attorneys who could represent the firm, among them former U.S. Attorney Kendall Coffey.
Boden said he told Nurik, "I can't believe you're doing this." Nurik responded, "Scott Rothstein has been my friend for 25 years. I can't desert my friend." Boden said he responded, "You need to think about that -- you're deserting us."
Lichtman asked if Nurik felt obligated to Rothstein because Nurik was living rent-free in a waterfront Fort Lauderdale house owned by Rothstein and had received law firm loans. Boden also was living in a house owned by Rothstein but said he was paying $10,000 a month rent.
"I didn't ask," Boden said. He also said he didn't know where Nurik's $50,000 retainer from Rothstein came from.
Well, Boden of course was at the time living in one of Rothstein's million-dollar homes on Castilla Isle as well, but he claimed he was paying $10,000 a month rent. It was at Boden's home on Castilla -- which we now know was stocked with a leopard-skin lamp and other items that Kim Rothstein alleged Boden plundered when he moved out -- that a Halloween day meeting was called among RRA honchos to talk about the impending disaster.
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The next day, Halloween, Boden had a meeting at that Castilla Isle home with supposed RRA honchos Stuart Rosenfeldt, Russell Adler, Grant Smith, and Les Stracher. Kay reported that Boden said Nurik showed up, said something about a "theoretical" major fraud, and Boden kicked him out of the house.
The subject of Fort Lauderdale businessman and huge Rothstein investor George Levin came up, specifically Levin's offer to provide $300 million to shore up the RRA books after Rothstein fled. Boden indicated he found that strange offer suspicious. So does attorney Bill Scherer, who is using it as evidence his civil suit filed against alleged Rothstein co-conspirators that include both Boden and Levin.
The Sentinel's Peter Francischina reported that Boden said of Rothstein, "You know, I didn't know the guy was a criminal. I trusted the guy. Shame on me."