Separating True Victims From the Feeders
That Channel 7 interview with Scott Rothstein and his attorney was a real pip.
First, the reporter, Rosh Lowe, really played up Rothstein's ridiculous promise to pay back all his victims. It was like Lowe believed it and was rallying behind the guy. Of course, Lowe was probably full of gratitude for the interview (a prize goes to the first person who can figure out why Rothstein chose Lowe, who keeps American Idol on his DVR and counts TMZ.com as one of his favorite websites).
Rothstein made a similar claim to me yesterday at the Capital Grille bar. When I hear him say he's going to pay people back, it only reminds me of the same delusional Scott Rothstein. Hey, maybe he can raise the money to pay them all back with a new investment scheme. That's the ticket.
Only one thing that Rothstein said during the Channel 7 interview really stood
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out -- and unfortunately I can't find the video for a direct quote. (You would think WSVN would have the interview leading the home page, but it's either not there or buried somewhere). He said he was only going to make sure the real victims were paid back, not the people who knew what was going on.
An example of a real victim is most likely car dealer Ted Morse, Rothstein's "best friend," whom he took for a reported $58 million. An example of those he is claiming knew about it may be Doug Von Allmen, Rothstein's vastly wealthy neighbor, who is said to have invested roughly $70 million.
Some say Von Allmen was raising money for Rothstein, the implication being he was a "feeder." But Von Allmen insists that he encouraged only one friend and some relatives to invest in it. (After I first spoke to Von Allmen last week, he reportedly told the Sun-Sentinel he didn't think Rothstein was involved at all, a rather outlandish statement.) When I spoke with Rothstein yesterday, I told him that I had spoken to Von Allmen earlier that day. He didn't look pleased at the mention of the name and said, "When you talk to anybody, always remember that they have their own version of the truth. And that may not be what actually happened."
It was one of the more cryptic moments of the sit-down at the Capital Grille. But who else might he be talking about as having knowledge? Almost surely the folks at the Banyon Fund, which was backed by Fort Lauderdale businessman George Levin. Sources also say R.L. Pearson and Associates, a business on Las Olas, also fed investments to Rothstein. Another one is David Boden, a lawyer in Rothstein's firm (apparently unlicensed in Florida) who helped raise money for Rothstein and lived in one of Rothstein's million-dollar Castilla Isle homes. Boden isn't believed to be an investor, though.
It's obvious greed got the best of some people, but is anybody else really guilty besides Rothstein? That's a question the feds are surely trying answer right now.
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