Scott Rothstein gave $1 million to Holy Cross Hospital and hundreds of thousands of dollars to a slew of other charities, including the Dan Marino Foundation, Alonzo Mourning Charities, the Humane Society, the American Heart Association, the Joe DiMaggio Children's Hospital, and the Jewish Federation.
Guess what? The lawyers are looking to get that money back.
Fort Lauderdale attorney Bill Scherer, who is representing investors who gave Rothstein more than $75 million, says he believes case law supports
the Rothstein charity money and sent me a case from Pennsylvania in which the U.S. Bankruptcy Court ruled that charitable contributions could be set aside by the court as fraudulent transfers. From the ruling involving accused Ponzi schemer David Burry:
[C]haritable contributions which were made by operator of Ponzi scheme to specific charity, as part of pattern of contributing more than $1.5 millon to charities over four years that he successfully operated scheme in attempt to create appearance to potential investors of profitable and charitable enterprise, were made with actual intent to defraud future investors, for fraudulent transfer purposes.
Now, I'm not prepared to argue the law, and there are differences between Florida and Pennsylvania law, but the message is clear: Rothstein's charity money will be targeted for return.
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Speaking of charities, click here to see the June issue of South Florida Social. Click on page 18 to see one of the final soirees of Rothstein and his social set at the Broward County Heart Ball, which as co-chaired by Scott and Kim Rothstein and supposedly raised about $1.25 million. The whole gang was there, including big Rothstein investors George Levin, Doug Von Allmen, and Ted Morse, who are all pictured with significant others. Mark Levinson and Les Stracher helped sponsor the event, and Stu Rosenfeldt is pictured in his tux. Also there were Rick and Rita Case, who I hear didn't invest with Rothstein, and Sheriff Al Lamberti, who is photographed with his arm around Rothstein.
I've said this story is going to have big ramifications in the political, financial, and legal worlds. But recent developments have prompted me to add one more sphere that will be significantly impacted: the law enforcement realm.
Also included elsewhere in the edition is Ron Picou, a longtime Fort Lauderdale businessman who socialized with Rothstein. Former Rothstein associate Roger Stone says Picou was one of the early investors in Rothstein's investment scheme. Still trying to reach Picou -- who was a friend and supporter of Ken Jenne when he was sheriff -- for confirmation.
Rothstein claimed he met his wife, Kim, at a charity event, Harley Dog Days, four years ago. Here's the quote he gave about it earlier this year: "And just for the record, I would not be married to the amazing woman that I call my wife, Kimmy, if it were not for PAWS. No, she did not adopt me at a shelter, but we did find each other at the Harley Dog Days event four years ago. I am now well-trained, very much loved, and yes... I am housebroken."