So what did former Broward County Sheriff Ken Jenne actually do for Scott Rothstein after he went to work at his law firm one week after leaving prison in fall 2008?
Well, among other projects, it turns out that Jenne was overseeing the Fort Lauderdale police detail, trying to develop an ambitious security firm, and overseeing an in-house investigative unit at the Rothstein Rosenfeldt Adler firm staffed by former federal agents, according to sources.
Think about that for a second. A man pulling off one of the great Ponzi schemes in Florida history had Jenne, a disgraced sheriff and felon, overseeing active Fort Lauderdale police officers to protect him. It's just so Rothstein.
FLPD Sgt. Steve Greenlaw, who headed the police detail, answered directly to Jenne, said former Rothstein bodyguard Joe Alu, who remains Kim Rothstein's bodyguard. And Jenne's work heading the investigative unit involved digging up dirt on Palm Beach billionaire Jeffrey Epstein, who allegedly had a predilection for underaged girls and was convicted on a solicitation-of-prostitution charge, Alu said.
"Ken Jenne had a bunch of ex-law enforcement people, not police, but federal people that were doing investigations," said Alu. "There were several federal agents working there, and they were working on
many more cases. Jenne was the supervisor of the unit. They answered to him."
RRA lawyer William Berger represented a couple of alleged Epstein sex victims, and Rothstein was using the Epstein case as a basis to sell some of the bogus settlement agreements in his Ponzi scheme.
Last year, Jenne took also took over Rothstein's bodyguard division, said former Rothstein bodyguard Bob Scandiffio.
"Ken Jenne wanted to build a large security operation with Scott," said Scandiffio. "Scott was going to have a CSI unit, almost like a civilian police unit, an investigative unit; they would do forensics, a whole big thing to compete with Kroll."
Scandiffio said that he was in the midst of obtaining a private investigation agency license and that Jenne wanted to use the license for his budding operation.
"I was the only one that had a license. Ken wanted to use my license, and I said no," said Scandiffio. "He wanted to put Joe Alu's son [Dominic] under it and give him a gun to carry. Basically he wanted to say these people knew what they were doing when they don't. Ken Jenne didn't like that. Me and Ken didn't get along."
Though Scandiffio said that Jenne made out all the schedules for bodyguards and basically ran the show, Alu has a rather strange explanation for it.
In the summer of last year, Jenne decided he wanted to go with mainly law enforcement people, said another former Rothstein bodyguard, Frank "Tank" Thomas.
"I was there for just a week, until Ken Jenne came to me with a check and said we're going to let you go, we're going a different kind of way with a different type of people," said Thomas. "I said, 'What type of people?' He said, 'Law enforcement.' "
That was one reason -- there are others he mentions that we'll explore later -- that Scandiffio says he was put on what he calls "home duty" and had his pay cut in half, from about $120,000 a year to $60,000.
"I still don't know where Ken Jenne has authority to come out of prison and run a security company," said Scandiffio. "What I want to know is, under what authority does a convicted felon run a security company?"
Answer: Scott Rothstein's authority, of course.
-- The clawback suit filed by Scott Rothstein bankruptcy attorneys claim former named partner Stuart Rosenfeldt owes more than $9 million. It's an interesting suit; I could spend the time to summarize it, but why do it when Channel 4 has already done it for us:
The lawsuit says Rosenfeldt used the RRA money to pay for 72 pieces of jewelry from J.R. Dunn Jewelers.
But that's not all.
The suit also lays out an alleged "scheme to funnel cash out of RRA to use for political contributions." In one instance in 2008, the trustee claims Rothstein gave Rosenfeldt a $140,000 bonus. The suit says Rosenfeldt sent the exact same amount to the John McCain presidential campaign days later.
The suit says Rosenfeldt, partner Russell Adler, and RRA attorney Steven Lippman funneled "bonuses" to the Florida Republican Party, Gov. Charlie Crist, the Ohio Republican Party, the Michigan Republican Party, the Missouri Republican Party, and the Pennsylvania Republican Party.
Lehr said Rosenfeldt thought all the money coming into the firm was legitimate.
Wow, the bankruptcy attorneys are laying out the criminal case for the FBI. These are all campaign felonies, people, and you might recall me writing from the get-go that the tribs were the "low hanging fruit" that could send several Ponzi-profiting RRA partners to the hoosegow. It's not so easy to prove that Rosenfeldt, Adler, Lippman, and other close big-spending Rothstein cronies at the firm had real working knowledge of the actual Ponzi scheme (and they might not have). But the political contributions are right there in front of everyone, including the feds, as big as life. And this is serious stuff, cutting right to the heart of our democracy.
-- Let's end this post with a game. Guess the answers to the following questions regarding quotes from the October 14, 2008, article in the Sun-Sentinel about Rothstein's hiring of Jenne:
1. Which prominent politician (if there is such a thing) and "long-time friend" of Ken Jenne told the Sun-Sentinel when Rothstein hired Jenne that he expected the former sheriff to soon be back on "top of his game." Here's the politician's direct quote:
"He's going to have to work to rehabilitate his image. But Ken's the kind of guy who could bounce back from this. And five years from now, you might see Ken Jenne playing a major role in Broward County politics."
2. Guess which lobbyist said this of Rothstein in the same article:
"Rothstein is a smart guy with a business plan to grow his law firm and that includes bipartisanship in the process. Anybody who thinks that was not on Rothstein's mind is underestimating what Scott Rothstein is."
3. Lastly, who said the following of Jenne in the same article:
"He has a renewed sense of the difference between right and wrong."
Answers to come in the comments. No googling allowed!