Ponzi schemer Joel Steinger, a felon whose Mutual Benefits stole $837 million from investors (almost twice as much money as Scott Rothstein's scam), ran to several supposedly reputable lawyers in town while he was committing his massive crime. Steinger, using his stolen money, hired attorney Michael McNerney and partner Ken Keechl to attack anyone who had the audacity to tell the world that he was ripping off people. McNerney and Keechl filed a ridiculous lawsuit on a consumer advocate and used the nastiest of tactics on truly innocent victims, many of them elderly, who sued Steinger for their money back. McNerney is now awaiting trial on federal fraud charges; Keechl is mayor of Broward County.
The really scary part is that judges and the justice system were proven to be truly blind -- not to color but to the truth. Keechl and McNerney were largely successful at staving off justice by using the court as a weapon against those who had been wronged. Skilled and unscrupulous lawyers can do that, and a sense of right and wrong in a courtroom can vanish just as quickly as that Ponzi money did.
It's not surprising, then, that dirty Broward developer Bruce Chait ran to a very dubious law firm when a sharp civic activist caught on to his scam and began publicly chastising him. Patti Lynn told the people of Tamarac that Chait wasn't to be trusted and that his controversial plan to build dense housing projects on two golf courses was bad for the city.
Understand that this was back in 2006, when Chait and his firm Prestige Homes were secretly paying off numerous public officials, including since-imprisoned Broward County Commissioner Joe Eggelletion, who took a bribe of $25,000 and a golf club membership in exchange for his vote to approve Chait's projects at the county level. At that time, Lynn was running against Patricia Atkins-Grad, the favored candidate of Broward's rancid local Democratic Party. Atkins-Grad won the race, but it appears she will lose her seat. Atkins-Grad is under state investigation for crimes of corruption involving Chait, official sources say, and there is talk she could turn herself in to the jail as early as this week.
Patti Lynn didn't know the incredible depth of Chait's corruption. She just knew that both he and his project stank like rotting fish, and she wasn't afraid to tell the world about it. Chait decided to shut her down, and that's when the dirtiest developer in town went to the dirtiest law firm for help.
Chait hired the Rothstein Rosenfeldt Adler firm led by big-spending Scott Rothstein. On the jump, see the amazing bully letter RRA attorney Les Stracher wrote Lynn when both the developer and the law firm were at the top of the world.
Rothstein Rosenfeldt Adler
December 22, 2006
Via Regular & Certified Mail
Ms. Patti Lyn
re: Prestige Homes
Dear Ms. Lyn:
Please be advised that this office has been retained to represent the interests of Prestige Homes.
It has come to my client's attention that you have taken it upon yourself to make a number of defamatory and untrue statements regarding my client's business practices, and specifically, as regards its projects at the Monterey and Sable Palm golf courses.
As you are aware, this project has received all necessary approvals to move forward. This did not and could not have occurred without a thorough vetting of any issues and/or concerns raised through the approval process. It is my understanding that you have, made comments on the project which you either knew and/or had reason to believe were untrue and were slanderous and defamatory. These include, but are not limited to, exaggerating and mischaracterizing the burden that the projects would purportedly put on citry and county infrastructure as well as statements that my client's [sic] were not reputable, could not be trusted at their word and would not abide by their commitments to the community.
My client, as a reputable business and good corporate citizen is not prepared to allow you to continue your attempts to damage and wrongfully interfere with its legitimate business interests. Therefore, this letter shall serve as formal written demand that you are to cease and desist the publication of slanderous, defamatory and untrue statements regarding my client and the Monterey and Sable Palm projects.
Be advised that my client has authorized the undersigned to take appropriate legal action to seek money damages and to enjoin you from engaging in conduct interfering with my client's business operations and/or otherwise constituting slander and defamation against either my client and/or its principals.
This letter shall be my client's only and final demand that you cease and desist in making statements regarding my client which are slanderous and defamatory. Moreover, you are directed to further cease and desist in the making false statements directed to my client and/or otherwise taking any action intended to wrongfully interfere with my client's business interests.
BE GOVERNED ACCORDINGLY
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For the Firm
There you have it. Black is white, and down is up. Patti Lynn, a small and rare island of integrity in Broward's political swamp, is portrayed as an out-of-control liar. And Bruce Chait, one of the most treacherous and thieving snakes ever to slither in that swamp, is painted as reputable and legitimate, a "good corporate citizen." Stracher didn't have the decency to spell Lynn's name right. It never went to court, but you have to wonder which way it would have gone if it had.