I have just confirmed that John Harris, who was Scott Rothstein's banker at Gibraltar Private Bank & Trust and headed the bank's operation on Las Olas, is no longer with the company.
This development wouldn't seem to bode well for the bank. In late September, Rothstein purchased a 5 or 6 percent stake in the Coral Gables-based Gibraltar for $5 million, according to the bank. He was one of several investors who purchased the bank for $93 million from Boston Private Financial Holdings.
Harris is still listed on the bank's website as a senior vice president and managing director for Broward and Palm Beach counties, but officials say he and the bank "separated" last week.
"I can confirm that John Harris has separated from the bank," said Gibraltar spokesman Peter Whalen. "It's a private
personnel issue, so it really wouldn't be appropriate for me to provide any more information than that."
When federal agents executed a search warrant at the Rothstein Rosenfeldt Adler law firm earlier this month, they seized numerous Gibraltar bank records, including one folder in Rothstein's office marked "shred." Rothstein bankruptcy trustee Herbert Stettin recently complained in court filings that Gibraltar had not supplied details on Rothstein-related wire transfers. Whalen said the bank has since turned over all pertinent records to the federal government.
"I believe [Stettin] has gotten everything at this point," Whalen said. "The bank is cooperating fully with Mr. Stettin."
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The feds are also seeking $1.3 million that remain in Rothtein's Gibraltar accounts.
The bank put a hold on Rothstein's shares in Gibraltar, and the federal government has issued a warrant to seize the Ponzi schemer's 5 percent interest in the bank. "The bank will continue to safeguard these shares until it receives further instructions from federal authorities," Gibraltar said in a news release November 9.
Rothstein purchased his stake in the bank through one of his Delaware companies, GPBT, and the deal was executed by another Rothstein concern called Bahia Property Management. In all about 50 investors -- organized by Gibraltar CEO Steven D. Hayworth -- ponied up the cash for the bank buy.
You can see a photo of Harris on page 14 of this edition of South Florida Social. It's good viewing since Rothstein and wife Kimmie are all over it, including a word about Kimmie's Sex and the City entrance to developer Tom Bates' birthday party.