Joel Steinger's Ponzi Palace
Want to live like a Ponzi schemer?
Buy Joel Steinger's house.
Steinger, the felon behind the giant Mutual Benefits viatical scam, is facing federal fraud charges. As I told you this morning, he's on house arrest while he awaits his day in court, assuming it will ever come after so many delays. His house has been up for sale, but I don't think for a minute that he plans to sell it.
And what a house. It's a place where lobbyist Russ Klenet used to hang out while he served as Steinger's do-boy in Tallahassee and elsewhere. He swam in Steinger's pool, kept his yacht docked at the house, and he and associate Aaron Scavron used to call the con man "Uncle Joel."
Before we see how Steinger, who has longtime Mob ties and a penchant for paying the biggest lawyers in South Florida princely sums, lives, here are a couple of quick orders of business:
-- The Sentinel (wife of Pulp) is reporting that lobbyist George Platt is holding a fundraiser to get cash for criminally charged former Broward County Commissioner Diana Wasserman-Rubin's defense fund. Attorney W. George Allen, who ironically sits on the School Board's idiotic "Ethics, Integrity and Transparency Committee," is also central to this unseemly effort.
Wasserman-Rubin was among a gaggle of bad public officials -- including felon Ira Cor -- who gamed new town Southwest Ranches out of millions of dollars. She's charged with voting on county grants written by her hubbie for the town that led to big bonuses for him. She's also been convicted of violating ethics laws in the case.
The list of people on the host committee for the Wasserman-Rubin fund is a who's who of government profiteers. You got school builder Jim Cummings, lobbyist Bernie Friedman, Ron Bergeron and girlfriend-lobbyist Ali Waldman, lobbyist Mike Moskowitz, and others.
Platt says he's certain Wasserman-Rubin has done nothing wrong, but he and the rest of these esteemed Broward citizens are, of course, full of the stuff that is filling up barns all across Southwest Ranches as we speak, namely horseshit.
I'm going to tell Platt and all the other culture-of-corruption mavens this one time: You're throwing your money away. Wasserman-Rubin is toast. Three letters you need to remember:
I R S.
-- Speaking of Klenet, he didn't just lose his job in Sunrise last night -- he got routed. Commissioners ranked him fourth out of five firms on the list, and that's only because one of them ranked him first. Who was that, you ask? Why, his old buddy, the outgoing Roger Wishner, of course. The vote shows you that when Wishner leaves, Klenet will be cloutless in Sunrise.
OK, see the tour of Steinger's house inside.
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you'll never miss New Times Broward-Palm Beach's biggest stories.