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Kim Rothstein Packed Out of Palace, Hounded For Shoes

Kim Rothstein has left the building.

Well, almost.

Rothstein attorney Scott Saidel told me that the bride of the Ponzi schemer has moved everything out of their palatial estate off Las Olas Boulevard. He said she is living with family and friends now, though she might spend one night a week in what she described a few months ago as a "tomb."

"It's empty, it's a shell, and it's depressing," Saidel said of the former Casa de Rothstein. "She's almost completely out of the house."

Kim's life has been further complicated, Saidel said, by the bankruptcy court's dogging of her for all of the marvelous things she bought on Broward's big swindler's dime since 2006. She charged on RRA credit cards about $880,000 for "purely personal expenses including, but not limited to: jewelry, clothing, shoes, handbags, leather goods, plastic surgery treat-ments, eyewear, electronics, local hotel room and spa charges, household furnishings, home gym equipment, vacations and personal travel,

athletic club charges, groceries, charitable contributions, personal meals, general household and other items."

I still don't understand why the bankruptcy lawyers would include groceries and "personal meals." Ain't a playa allowed to eat? I've also felt that considering the hundreds of millions in OPM that her husband was throwing around, the figure really isn't that egregious. Take away the $104,000 in political contributions -- which were clearly directed by her husband -- and you're down to around $250,000 a year on goodies, which is about what you'd expect from the newly installed princess of Las Olas.

In total the bankruptcy court is suing Kim for $1.13 million, which includes more than $150,000 she made in the job Rothstein created for her to help manage the real estate properties (and keep her busy).

It's true that Kim's spending was an issue for Rothstein. Remember that her husband's former bodyguard, Bob Scandiffio, told me that one of Scott Rothstein's chief goals every day was avoiding his wife. While she was neglected, she was ringing up purchases on the credit cards.

She would call Rothstein repeatedly and try to get some of his time, but the Ponzi schemer was out playing with other women, including the stripper he kept at the Ritz Carlton on the beach.

"He would never say anything to her," Scandiffio said of Rothstein. "She had her house, she had her money, and she got her hair done every day. He gave her a job [helping to run his properties] because she needed something to do. She spent plenty of money, but she wanted him to pay attention to her, and he never did. I think she has a lot of self-esteem issues with Scott never being home and never doing what she wanted him to do. I'm sure it had to be embarrassing for her because everybody knew. All his friends knew. And she loved the guy. It was horrible."

Kim herself told me a similar story, of how she just wanted a semblance of a normal marriage but it was impossible because her husband was never around. The woman was sort of incarcerated in Rothstein's kingdom -- and she filled the void with spending the money.

Or maybe that's just psychobabble and she really was a gold digger who got what she wanted, which was to drop tens of thousands of dollars at high-end Las Olas clothes stores like Zola Keller and Shop 603. Whatever the truth, she's getting dogged now for all the things she bought during the tumultuous marriage.

"They are coming after her dresses and shoes," said Saidel. "Can someone tell me what public good is going to come from taking some used size 5 shoes?" 

-- I'll finish with a question: "Is Scott Rothstein secretly assisting lawyer Bill Scherer in his lawsuit against alleged co-conspirators in the Ponzi scheme?"

Answer: Yes.

More on that later.

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Journalist Bob Norman has been raking the muck of South Florida for the past 25 years. His work has led to criminal cases against corrupt politicians, the ouster of bad judges from the bench, and has garnered dozens of state, regional, and national awards.
Contact: Bob Norman

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