After returning from Morocco and before he was locked up on federal charges, Ponzi schemer and disbarred lawyer Scott Rothstein cooperated with federal agents to help build an international Mafia case.
The case involves a security company that Rothstein hired at the Versace mansion after he took over management of the famed Miami Beach property last year, according to sources.
Here's the background on the relationship between Rothstein and two owners of Fort Lauderdale-based Five-Star Executive Protection and Security, Enrique Ros and Daniel Dromerhauser. Ros and Dromerhauser were charged by the FBI in a Mafia case last week that stretches to Sicily and reputed Italian mobster Roberto Settineri, who was also arrested in Miami. Dromerhauser, of Miami, and Setterini are in custody while Ros, of Pembroke Pines, is still at large. More than 25 people have been charged in the case, which involves the Santa Maria di Gesu family from Palermo and the Gambino family based in New York.
Rothstein's involvement in the case got going in early November, about the time he returned from Morocco to cooperate with feds in an attempt to whittle down his prison sentence related to his $1.2 billion Ponzi scheme.
The federal indictment alleges that Settineri, Ros, and Dromerhauser received two boxes of records that Rothstein, who sources say was working as an informant, gave them to destroy. The records were represented to have been subject to a federal grand jury subpoena involving the Rothstein Ponzi case, which was splayed out across all South Florida media at the time. In exchange for destroying the records, the defendants received
$69,000 in four payments from November 16 through the 19th. These dates coincide with the monthlong window that Rothstein was cooperating with the feds before he was officially charged and incarcerated. On November 24, the trio is alleged to have received $10,000 from the same informant that was represented as money that came from unlawful activity. Settineri, Ros, and Dromerhauser were charged not only with destroying the documents but also with conspiracy to commit money laundering.
The Mafia case has been assigned to U.S. District Judge James Cohn, who is also presiding over Rothstein's case at the Broward courthouse. Rothstein was moved out of the Federal Detention Center in Miami in late February for his own protection. It is not known if his transfer (apparently to the St. Lucie County Jail) was related to concerns regarding the Mafia case. He'll likely spend his prison term in witness protection [UPDATED: See Channel 4 report.]
The indictment also lists items that will be forfeited from Settineri, Ros, and Dromerhauser upon conviction. Listed is:
-- The $79,000 in currency they allegedly received.
-- All funds contained in a Five Star Executive Protection account at Wachovia Bank.
-- A 2010 Audi automobile.
-- One Luminar Marina Panerai 2003 World Series watch.
-- A 2008 GMC Sierra truck and a 2003 Ford Excursion.
-- Finally, a taste of justice for the two British businessmen who were killed when a speeding white Porsche struck them on Fort Lauderdale beach last year.
In custody at this hour is 38-year-old Derek Wilhelm Cook, a friend of the Porsche's owner, wealthy Chicago heir Ryan LeVin. Cook, whose mug shot is pictured at right, has been charged with being accessory after the fact and aggravated fleeing and eluding, according to Fort Lauderdale police.
Charged with two counts of vehicular homicide and leaving the scene is LeVin, who is apparently at large at the moment.
Details are sketchy, as the probable-cause affidavit hasn't been released by police. FLPD spokesman Frank Sousa told me that the arresting officer is teaching a class so he can't get the PC yet. Sousa also said it's his day off and he will be teaching a class tonight and wouldn't be able to release the information until tomorrow morning. I'm trying to obtain the information from other sources.