Broward News

Scott Rothstein Alleges TD Bank's "Critical" Role in Ponzi Scheme; Explains Morocco Trip

Scott Rothstein claimed during his deposition that TD Bank played a "critical" role in furthering his billion-dollar Ponzi scheme, according to transcripts.

When asked just how important the bank was to furthering his scheme, Rothstein said that on a scale of one to ten, "They were a ten."

Rothstein claimed investors often wanted to do business with a larger bank, but said he simply couldn't because of the help he was getting from TD Bank -- specifically the bank's former vice president, Frank Spinosa.

From the December 13 transcript:

Q    In terms of the components that you view as critical, how does TD rate?
A    Do you want it on a scale of one to ten --
Q    Yeah.
A    -- ten being the most important?
Q    Yes.
A    They were a ten.
Q    And why do you say that?
A    Because they were assisting me in putting fake balance statements into the hands of my investors. They were critical in providing real letters to go on top of the fake balance statements.  They were critical in the fact that they had TD Bank employees actually handing me those phony statements in front of the investors; and Frank Spinosa was a fantastic advocate for our firm's supposed financial condition, as well as on several occasions actually verifying phony balances.

Rothstein went on to explain some of the ins and outs of the scheme, and alleged how TD Bank employees -- especially Spinosa -- were helping him out.

His explanation as to why Spinosa would want to assist him was pretty simple.

"Other than me asking him to, the two main reasons: One, he was directly paid a sum of money somewhere between $50- and $75,000 by me in cash," Rothstein said. "Two, he was one of the people that was, again, for lack of a better term, living the rock star lifestyle provided by our firm in exchange for his continued cooperation in our conspiracy."

TD Bank has continuously denied Rothstein's allegations against them.

Rothstein was also asked that morning to explain his escape to Morocco during the downfall of his scheme, and his reasoning was fairly simple -- it has no extradition treaty with the United States.

His plan was to open a series of nightclubs in Morocco using the $9 million he claimed TD Bank helped him wire to an account there.

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Matthew Hendley
Contact: Matthew Hendley