Scott Rothstein's Head Computer Nerd Turns Himself In
Curtis Renie, the 38-year-old information technology head of Ponzi scheme mastermind Scott Rothstein's law firm, turned himself in to the feds today.
Renie, of Fort Lauderdale, is the third person to turn himself in to authorities to be indicted on one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud in connection with the investment fraud, with the fourth -- Rothstein's pal Stephen Caputi -- expected to turn himself in later this week.
The other two -- Renie's fellow IT boy William Corte and former Rothstein Rosenfeldt and Adler attorney Howard Kusnick -- were released last week on $100,000 personal surety bonds.
According a document released by the U.S. Attorney's Office today, it alleges a big part of the Rothstein conspiracy involved wrongdoings by Renie and Corte, the so-called "computer experts":
Rothstein offered $5,000 to both Renie and Corte for copying the website of TD Bank to a computer at his law firm in an attempt to be able to confirm that funds from investors were being held in trust accounts.
Once this was done, investors could view the website -- which looked nearly identical to TD Bank's -- from inside the law firm, allowing investors to view the information in their fake accounts.
For much of 2009, Rothstein would give Renie and Corte a copy of bank account information with balances written next to the printed balances and ask them to update the fake website with the new balances.
At least three investors came in and looked at the fake website, which would falsely show that the law firm had $300 million to $1.1 billion deposited at TD Bank.
Relying on this fake website, these investors put $35 million of their own money into Rothstein's scheme.
After being discovered, Renie deleted the fake TD Bank website and also deleted all of his emails he could find relating to the fake site.
Renie, along with the other three, are all expected to plead guilty to their charges as part of an arrangement with the FBI in which their cooperation is likely to lead to even more arrests in Rothstein's scheme.
Renie's bond was set at $100,000.
Click here to read the information on Renie and Corte released by the U.S. Attorney's Office today.
Stay tuned to the Pulp for ongoing updates in the Rothstein saga.
Get the Weekly Newsletter
Our weekly feature stories, movie reviews, calendar picks and more - minus the newsprint and sent directly to your inbox.