Should the Feds Offer Protection to Rothstein's Wife, Family?

Ever since it became public yesterday (on this blog) that Scott Rothstein had cooperated with the feds in a case that caught reputed Sicilian Mafiosi Roberto Settineri, the question has hung in the air of those closest to the Ponzi schemer:

Are we safe?

Rothstein's wife, Kim, and relatives, including his parents, are concerned they may be targeted for payback by the Mafia, say sources close to the family. Some are even wondering whether the feds should offer them protection.

My feeling is that if there was a credible threat to Kim Rothstein or any other people close to Rothstein that some form of protection should

be provided. But I also feel that there is no credible threat.

It's becoming evident, for instance, that Rothstein didn't involve his family members in his crimes. They won't be witnesses in the case, so there's no good motive -- other than sheer revenge -- for the Mob to go to any extremes. Second, the Mafia generally has rules against innocent family members, especially women (yes, they are sometimes broken, but not very often). Third, Rothstein was never a mobster; he didn't violate the rules of omerta. If anything, the Mafia should be upset at Settineri for being such an ignorant dupe when all of South Florida knew, or at least suspected, that Rothstein was working for the feds.

Simply put: Rothstein put a fair beating on the Mafia, and now they're going to have to deal with the consequences.

Another question that's being asked is whether Rothstein will wind up doing some short prison stint because of his assistance in the Mafia case. Some have made comparisons to Sammy "The Bull" Gravano, who did very little time after he turned over John Gotti. Gravano, of course, killed 19 people (that we know about) and was sentenced to only five years.

Not going to happen in Rothstein's case, at least I don't think it will. Rothstein's crimes affected the whole town, the legal community, the law enforcement community, the political community, the business community, the banking community. I honestly don't believe the U.S. Attorney's Office or judge could save face if he got anything less than 20 years.

Oh, and Roberto Settineri is no John Gotti, not even close. When Gravano helped to bring down Gotti it was probably the highest-profile Mafia case in America since Al Capone. And Settineri? He's a fairly low-level Italian associate who was trying to work some mob magic in Miami. The other two guys were nobody security hacks. Hence, my over-under on Rothstein's sentence stands at 25 years. Could be wrong, but that's my gut.

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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