This is a good shot of some of the alleged co-conspirators in the Scott Rothstein fiasco. Russ Adler and Steve Lippman were knee-deep in the mess. Grant Smith, who stands next to Rothstein, seems to have kept his hands relatively clean, however. Unlike Adler and Lippman, Smith was one of the RRA attorneys cleared by Florida Bar. Not pictured, regrettably, is David Boden, the alleged right-hand man who is reported to have drafted some of the bogus documents involved in the actual Ponzi scheme. More on him after the jump.
First I just stumbled across the Broward Heart Ball 2010, which was held back in April at the Westin Beach Resort in Fort Lauderdale. Remember that the Heart Ball was Rothstein's baby, where he played grand poobah before his would-be escape to Morocco last year.
Who was the signature sponsor and cochairman of the event? None other than former Rothstein buddy Ovi Levy (along with Daniel Mink) of Renato Watches. Click here to see him pictured prominently with Mink in the Miami Premiere Guide's coverage of the event. Also photographed: Rothstein's former enabler, Ted Morse, and his son Teddy.
Photographed as well was former WTVJ-NBC 6 anchor Tony Segreto with the Heart Association's Maria Hunt, who had an interesting mention in the infamous comment on this blog from "Goodfella" (Scott Rothstein himself). Auctioned off were three gold bracelets donated by, you guessed it, Levinson Jewelers (who I hear is not in the clear regarding the Rothstein bankruptcy trustee).
It's as if nothing happened at all. It's the same old gang, minus one flamboyantly dressed, spiky-haired criminal and his beautiful blond wife. Check out the scene here (including a relatively fresh photo of the Morses).
There is another big Heart Ball sponsor this year that catches the eye: Great HealthWorks of South Florida, a firm in Hollywood that sells dietary supplement pills. That's where Boden comes in, believe it or not. To read about that gig (in which Segreto weirdly has a cameo), look inside.
Boden is listed as Great HealthWorks' "Executive Vice President of Financial Operations." Considering Boden's history with Rothstein, that's a little scary, no? I hear Rothstein feeder Barry Beckedam had a role in HealthWorks as well but haven't confirmed that.
Great HealthWorks sells something called Omega XL fatty acid pills -- and it found a unique way to market them: with Christian preachers on television.
Insomniacs and fans of graveyard-shift TV may have spotted a curious program recently starring one of the Bay area's most prominent men of God.
There was Randy White, the hip, contemporary pastor of Tampa megachurch Without Walls International, flashing a smile and urging viewers to call a toll-free number on the TV screen. White wasn't promising eternal salvation on this night. Just a bottle of Omega XL fatty acid pills at $49.95 a pop.
"I guarantee you emphatically and unequivocally it's going to change your life," White says on the infomercial. His wife, televangelist Paula White, also appears on the 30-minute program.
Prominent ministers have long promoted religious items, from books of inspirational testimonies to Christian movies such as the "Left Behind" film series. But with his recent infomercial, White stepped into an emerging role for big-name church pastors: mainstream product pitchman for personal gain.
... White doesn't deny using the celebrity he has acquired from his ministry to benefit his personal business, RAW Reality Enterprises Inc. (named for his initials).
"What are [Jesus'] principles?" White asked. "If you think Jesus was poor, wants his clergy to be poor and have a vow of poverty, I would debate that."
How can you not love those televangelists? I'm going to do some more reporting on this, but in the meantime, check out a testimonial for the product featuring Mr. Segreto: