The Rothstein Information, Boiled Down | New Times Broward-Palm Beach

The Rothstein Information, Boiled Down

Here are some highlights from the information used to charge Scott Rothstein with racketeering, money laundering, and fraud today. I think it provides a road map for what's to come in this investigation.

One thing seems clear: The feds are going after the political side of this hard. According to the information, Rothstein and "other co-conspirators":

-- utilized funds illegally obtained through the Ponzi scheme to make political contributions to... political candidates in a manner designed to conceal the true source of such funds and to circumvent state and federal laws...

-- used corporations to launder proceeds generated from the Ponzi scheme to conceal the source of the funds utilized to make political contributions.

-- paid large bonuses to employees of RRA purportedly as an award for exemplary work. Prior to the receipt of the bonuses, the employees were instructed to make large contributions to political candidates in the employers' names. Such conduct was designed to conceal the true source of the contribution and to illegally circumvent

campaign finance laws.

I hit that topic a couple of weeks ago, and I continue to think that numerous RRA attorneys may be vulnerable on this score.

Also on the feds' radar is Rothstein's relationships with law enforcement officials. "Ponzi scheme funds were also used to provide gratuities to high ranking members of police agencies to curry favor with such police personnel and to deflect law enforcement scrutiny of the activities of RRA and defendant Rothstein," prosecutors wrote.

Well, we know one such "gratuity" was Rothstein's inviting BSO Lt. David Benjamin to his luxury box for a Miami Dolphins game. I think there are a lot of law enforcement guys -- from BSO and FLPD -- sweating it right now over this.

The Bova restaurants Rothstein invested in are also mentioned, as prosecutors claim they were "used in part as a mechanism to give gratuities to individuals, including politicians, business associates and attorneys, in order to foster goodwill and loyalty, as a location to solicit potential investors and as a secure location for conspiratorial meetings."

Prosecutors found that Rothstein and RRA had a total of 38 accounts with TD Bank. In its list of seizures, there's not a whole lot of new information. I still can't believe the list of cars this guy had: a 2009 Bugatti Veron, two Ferraris, a Bentley, a silver Hummer, a Cadillac Escalade, a 1967 Corvette, two Rolls-Royce convertibles, a black limousine Ford Expedition, a Mercedes, and a Lamborghini. I knew that was the way he rolled, but it's still eye-popping.

Also interesting that he left $271,000 cash at the home he shared with Kim. Wonder if that was meant to tide her over.