Broward News

TD Bank Attorney Accuses Scott Rothstein of Lying Through Deposition

Scott Rothstein has accused several TD Bank employees of being complicit in his massive Ponzi scheme, so it's not surprising an attorney representing the bank tried to get Rothstein to admit he's lying.

Attorney Mark Schnapp -- who was also asking Rothstein about his relationship with the U.S. Attorney's Office -- got Rothstein to admit to a series of lies he told to further his Ponzi scheme, then tried to get him to admit he's lying through the deposition in an effort to earn his way out of jail.

Rothstein denied that, saying he's made a conscious decision to be a "truthful person."

This exchange between Schnapp and Rothstein was captured in the most recently released set of transcripts from Rothstein's deposition -- December 20.

Schnapp asked Rothstein about his ego and willingness to engage in illegal activity, guiding his way into a series of questions about Rothstein's lying habits.

He lied about having settlements to sell people? Yep. He lied by passing off fake bank statements as real ones? Yep. He lied to Debra Villegas about being threatened by the Mob? Yessir.

"And you -- it's fair to say that during the bulk of the time that you were committing this Ponzi, your day involved a lot of lying, isn't that true?" Schnapp asked.

"Yes sir," Rothstein replied.

Schnapp clearly had the next few questions -- and responses -- set up:

Q    And that's how you got a better lifestyle?
A    That's one of the ways, sir, yes.
Q    And, in fact, now you're in jail, right?
A    I am.
Q    And you're also trying to improve your lifestyle, correct?
A    I don't understand your question, sir.
Q    Are you trying to get out of jail?
A    Yes, sir.
Q    And you're using your same techniques, lying to other people, in order to accomplish that; isn't that true?
A    No, sir.

Rothstein went on to say that he stopped lying about everything once he came back from his almost-flee to Morocco, despite obvious disbelief from Schnapp -- who wanted Rothstein to confirm that he became a truth-teller "all of a sudden."

"I don't think you become a truthful person all of a sudden," Rothstein said. "I think you make a conscious decision to change, which is what I did. People do change."

Schnapp then asked Rothstein questions about being in witness protection -- which were both met with objections from Assistant U.S. District Attorney Lawrence LaVecchio.

Before that whole series, Schnapp and Rothstein had gone through a pissing match in which Schnapp maintained that Rothstein wasn't answering his questions.

Rothstein claimed he had a "common interest" with the investors who lost money to him, claiming that he's trying to help them recover the money.

Schnapp sarcastically said that was "very noble" of Rothstein, who said there was "no reason to be rude" to him.

What was actually accomplished during that session of questioning is beyond us.

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Matthew Hendley
Contact: Matthew Hendley