The Rothstein-Salamone Emails

UPDATE: In November 2012, a lengthy letter from Chris Salamone's attorney made its way to one of this company's publishers. In it the lawyer lays out his and Mr. Salamone's numerous objections to the wording of our 2010 blog post and the conclusions readers might draw from it. Characterizing Salamone as "a targeted victim" who was unaware of Scott Rothstein's criminal behavior, the missive catalogues the finer points of Salamone's twenty-year relationship and "normal" investments with the man who would eventually be exposed and convicted as a Ponzi schemer. Deeming our blog post "misleading" and "biased," the attorney recommends its removal from our website.

We disagree and stand behind our report on the legal complaint filed against Salamone in the Rothstein bankruptcy proceedings. However, in the interest of expanding the conversation to include the Salamone points of view, we offer readers the letter (minus the various attachments) in this link.


Boca Raton attorney Chris Salamone founded a company called LeadAmerica with a goal of transforming children across America into natural leaders. Above, you can see him lecturing on the importance of children making good choices. 

Salamone arranged student conferences around the country -- for a fee, of course, to all attendants -- for this purpose. And he talked a good game. In a series of promotional videos, Salamone touted his boyhood with a father who ran basketball camps, his own college scholarship as a basketball player, and his graduation from law school. He claimed he had spent most of his adult life studying the qualities that make great leaders.

And he promised astounding results for the kids who enrolled in his conferences. 

"At those moments when the difficult choices comes, they really don't have a difficult choice, they are going to do the right thing," said Salamone on one of numerous videos he made for the business. "And as a parent, that's an incredibly comforting thought, that my child is going to make good decisions and good choices when faced with difficult situations and faced with adversity and faced with a lot of external influences that are trying to lead them down a path that we know they shouldn't go."

Unfortunately for Salamone, bankruptcy attorneys are now alleging that he went down the wrong path himself. They claim in court records that he -- at times with LeadAmerica money -- fed Scott Rothstein's massive Ponzi scheme and that he cashed in to the tune of about three-quarters of a million dollars with some annualized rates of return at nearly 900 percent.

Now the Rothstein bankruptcy trustee has sued Salamone. They want that money back. 

Salamone, according to the complaint, was a classmate of Rothstein's at Nova Southeastern Law School, and the two of them were partners in the law firm of Kaplan Kusnick Rothstein & Salamone. At some point, they became "estranged," according to the complaint filed against Salamone, but years later rekindled their friendship. Salamone "stood up for Rothstein as a groomsman" at his Versace mansion wedding to Kim Rothstein, according to the complaint. They socialized regularly and often wrote personal emails with Rothstein's trademark sign off "love ya." Rothstein served as Salamone's personal and business attorney. The Ponzi schemer even arranged for Florida Gov. Charlie Crist to call Salamone's father on his 80th birthday.

And in an 11-month period beginning in February 2007, Salamone put $1,775,400 into Rothstein's scheme and received in return $2,412,600 back on deals with annualized rates of return ranging from 90 to 793.5 percent, according to the bankruptcy complaint. A total of $205,000 of the money Salamone put in came from LeadAmerica coffers, specifically from its National Youth Education Council account.

The complaint includes numerous emails sent between Rothstein and Salamone that once again shed light on Rothstein's freewheeling business methods. In them, Rothstein would marvel at the rates of return and in one mentioned that his CFO (Debra Villegas) might think he was "laundering money" if a check wasn't received on time.

After the jump, read the emails in their entirety. They provide another chapter in the Rothstein method of operation. He throws out the bait, and Salamone chomps it up.

------------------------------------------

From: Scott Rothstein
To: Chris Salamone
Sent: Tue Feb 06 10:27:01 2007
Subject: yo my bro

I have ticket handled. Will send you copy of written plea of not guilty.

Also, I am sending courier to your office with your check for 100k.
just give the courier a check for 75k mad payable to our trust account.

Also, I have one of these tomorrow .....shorter timing......50k today 75k in 60 days.....if you want in I will send you that check with the other today.....

Let me know yo.

Love ya lots,

See you Thursday for lunch.....

 

From: Chris Salamon
Sent: Tuesday, February 06, 2007 11:56 AM
To: Scott Rothstein
Subject: Re: yo my bro

Hey pal, Thank you my brother.

I'm in DC meeting with potential M&A folks. Back tonight. Yes, I'll do both deals with you -- so send both checks. I'll have money wired first thing in the morning so go ahead and deliver the checks

I'll call you later today when meetings over.

Cms

 

From Rothstein to Salamone
Sent: Feb. 7 12:27:08 2007
Subject: hey pal

Hope you are defrosting..please make sure to wire the 75 and the 50 so my CFO does not think I am laundering money ...

 

From Salamone to Rothstein
Sent: Feb. 7 1:16 PM 2007
Subject: Re: hey pal

We didn't get the check.

 

From Rothstein to Salamone
Sent:Feb. 7, 01:30:43 PM
cc: Irene Shannon
Subject: RE: hey pal

My idiot secret sent them regular mail. when you get them destroy them. I am sending two new checks (one for 75k and one for 100k) right now by courier. Please have your secretary take them and exchange them for your checks. Forget the wire.
Sorry about the confusion.
Love ya,
Me

Irene, please recut these two checks to Chris Salamone and give them to Kathy to have them couriered immediately to Chris to exchange for his checks. He should be giving us a check for 50k and for 75k. these checks will then be used to fund the deals as I authorized.
Thanks,
Scott

--------------------------------------------------

 

From Rothstein to Salamone
Sent: Tuesday, February 20,2007 1:50 PM
Subject: Mo' money

got another one.......82k in...........102 out in 90 days.........
Same way....we send u check to hold in exchange for your check......
U in......calculate the interest....
Love ya

 

From Salamone to Rothstein
Sent: Tuesday, February 20,2007 4:30 PM
Subject: RE: Mo' money

Yes...I'm in.

 

From Rothstein to Salamone
Sent: 02/20/2007 04:34:21 pm
Subject: RE: Mo' money

Nice interest rate :-)
I will have check couriered to you in the morning....you can just give your check to the courier when he drops me off........
Make payable to trust...
Love ya,
See you tomorrow night...
me

 

From Rothstein to Irene Shannon
Sent: 02/20/2007 04:36:46 pm
Subject: check

Cut a check to chris salamone for 102k dated 90 days from tomorrow and have it picked up by courier right now and delivered to chris at his office first thing tomorrow morning..

Thanks,

Scott

------------------------------------------------------

 

MARCH 29, 2007

From Rothstein to Salamone
Subject: yo yo yo

Hey Chris,

When you get a chance, please send me your available dates for the atlantis trip. I really want us to all go together

Also, I have another loan deal if you are interested. Figured I would offer it to you first.

82,500 in.

105k out in 90 days.

Let me know ..yo :-)

Love ya,

me

 

From Salamone to Rothstein
Subject: RE: trip/Loan info...and yo,yo,yo

Hey Pal

We are available any weekend except May 12 (Saturday), which is my dads 75th surprise birthday so you are not available either. On the weekend of April 29th, Donna has a Baby Shower ... She could miss it if that were the only weekend everyone else could go. I look forward to it.

As for the settlement loan/advance... Give me a call. I would like to do it. I still need you to send me something on the past ones. I have Due diligence going on now with prospective pruchasers and they want more than an email. Btw, why are using Gibraltar bank in Miami? Call me so we can move on this one.

Luv ya pal,

CMS

---------------------------------------------------------

MAY 3, 2007

From Rothstein to Salamone
Subject: new loan

Hey pal,

New loan:

 

1. total amount is 92,600.
2. total interest is 28k.
3. total term is 90 days.
4. payment is made by postdated check dated 90 days out.
5. repayment check and note will be sent via overnight mail.
6. we are trying to fund by early morning tomorrow. If you are in please let me know and have the funds wired. I will overnight note and check as soon as wire hits.
7. 3k in points/fees payable immediately will accompany note and final repayment check if you are able to fund today

Let me know.

Lova ya,

me 

 

From Salamone to Rothstein
Subject: RE: new loan

We're in. We will wire the money either this afternoon.

Chris Salmone, Esq.

LeadAmerica 

----------------------------------------------------

MAY 11-15, 2007

From Rothstein to Salamone
Subject: New deal

Just got call from office..........
New one....
78,300 in today.........100k back in 60 days......let me know.....if u r in just send wire this morning...I will have my office process......
Love ya.........

 

From Salamone to Rothstein
Subject: RE: New deal

Scott... FYI, the wire was sent yesterday afternoon so you should receive the funds sometime today. Please send the check and note overnight.

CMS

Chris M. Salamone, Esq.
LeadAmerica

 

From Rothstein to Salamone
Subject: RE: New deal

No sign of the wire.......i will send the note and check tomorrow by overnight. I am not in the office until tomorrow anyway.
Love ya,
me

 

From Salamone to Rothstein
Subject: RE: Settlement Loan/funding ($78,300)... and prior on the 92.6k

My CFC just sent you the confirmation of delivery of the wire... better check again.

Also... he said we never got the note or check for the 5/3 wire in the amount of $92,600. Please send that tomorrow too.

CMS

 

From Rothstein to Salamone
Subject: RE: Settlement Loan/funding ($78,300)... and prior on the 92.6k

No problem....it got trapped because it was adressed to RRA IOTA as opposed to the full firm name......no biggie....they are handling and I will handle.... on the way to see my little one.......
Love ya, 
me

 

From Rothstein to Salamone
Subject: new deal

Hey pal,

Small one with big interest

75k in today...95k out in 30 days..

Let me know.

Will need wire today if we are going to do it.

Let me know as early as possible so I can send this note and check with the others...delivered by a responsible person who knows how to drop the thing in the fedex box..

---------------------------------------------

JUNE 6, 2007

From Rothstein to Salamone
Subject: yo my bro

You are hysterical....read all your emails....

Well since you are being such a funny guy, thought I might offer you a chance to fund your comedy career.

A little bit larger deal with a much bigger payout.

168k in today...........

Payout is in three checks

One dated 14 days from today for 69K

One dated 28 days from today for 80k

One dated 42 days from today for 69k

Do the math.......50k in points,interest fees etc.

That should fund at least one comedy show....maybe two....

And....as an added bonus....i will have my runner bring you the note and the checks right now :-)

Literally....right now....

Not a scott right now....

But a real right now....

Let me know asap....

Love ya,

me

 

From Salamone to Rothstein
Subject: Re: yo my bro

We are in. One issue. I'm on a plane heading to DC. Scot (my CFO) is sitting next to me so we can't wire right now. Will be able to wire when we get to Dc. We arrive at 4:30pm. It likely will not arrive until first thing in the morning. Is that ok?

Love ya

Chris

---------------------------------------------------------------

JUNE 21, 2007

From Rothstein to Salamone
Subject: New deal

in case you are interested....small deal....big payout

71 in.........86 out.......60 days......

if not, no biggie........albert said he would take it......

let me know.

love ya,

me

 

From Salamone to Rothstein
Subject: RE: New deal

We can do that one. Try to get me some fo those 15,20 and 30 dayers too.

Love ya. I will call you ion a few minutes from the car.

Chris M. Salamone, Esq.
LeadAmerica

 

From Rothstein to Salamone
Subject: RE: New deal

Walking into an 8 am meeting......please make sure the wire goes out this morning. I will courier check and note this morning.
Call ya when I get out.
Love ya.........
Meeeeeeeee ;-))))))

-------------------------------------------------

AUGUST 7, 2007

From Scot Brands to Rothstein
Subject:

I initiated a wire for 85,000 this morning

Scot Brands, JD CPA

Chief Financial Officer

LeadAmerica

 

From Rothstein to Brands, cc Salamone
Subject: RE:

I will send checks and note to the office today.
ciao

----------------------------------------------------------

AUGUST 22, 2007

From Rothstein to Salamone
Subject: new deal

110k in
160k out in 120 days.
Let me know.
Love ya
Me
And I am handling the idiots in atlanta.
Love ya again
me

 

From Salamone to Rothstein
Subject: RE: New deal

Yes on the deal. Do you have the one that's supposed to double in 30-60 days?

On the Atlanta folks-- I just got an email -- I wil forwartd to you in a minute. Thanks.

 

From Rothstein to Salamone
Subject: RE: New deal - response

Another day or so on the deal.......love ya

--------------------------------------------------------------

JANUARY 30, 2008

From Rothstein to Salamone
Subject: new deal

Must be funded today by wire to trust

 

Fund 120k

Roi is 70k

Paid in 3 payments over 90 days

If you are in wire money and send me an email.

Love ya,

Me

It's the smallest one and quickest one I have right now.

Love ya again,

me

 

From Salamone to Rothstein
Subject: RE: new deal

That one works. I assume its 3 checks of 80k ... Confirm and I will have the cash wired in the next few minutes.

Sorry about the other one. I have to fund the Mortgage deal too, so cash is a bit tight. (btw, let me know if you want in on the mortgage deal)

Chris M. Salamone, Esq.
LeadAmerica

 

From Rothstein to Salamone
Subject: RE: new deal -- ok see below

Correct. please wire now..i will cut the trust checks in advance of wire so long as I know it is coming..

Love ya,

Me

 

And yes..i want in...

 

From Salamone to Rothstein
Subject: RE: new deal -- ok see below

Yes, wire will be sent in about 2 minutes. Can you have the checks and the note delivered?

Chris M. Salamone, Esq.

 

From Rothstein to Salamone
Subject: RE: new deal -- ok see below

Yup. some time tomorrow morning if that is ok.

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