Note to Bill Scherer: You've dug up some killer information, but couldn't one of those ten people you've had working on the Scott Rothstein suit have done a little spell checking?
In Scherer's amended complaint, there's a list of people and businesses to whom Rothstein wired money while he was en route to or inside of Morocco. On that list, Ovadia "Ovi" Levy become Obidia Levy. Dominic Tonacchio becomes Dominic Ponatchio (or was that supposed to be Pinnochio?). (Tonacchio was a partner of Rothstein's in New York with whom Rothstein told me last year he was building two condo buildings in Brooklyn.) Who knows who else is misspelled because they aren't all that easy to track down (though I'm making some progress).
Again, the information is still invaluable. The largest recipient, other than Rothstein's $16 million wire to himself (in the name of "Ahnick Kahlid"), was Shimon Levy, Ovi Levy's father. He gave Shimon (which he pronounces Simon) $1,582,666. Add in what he gave Ovi and Shimon's wife, Rachel, and it comes to $2,325,666. Finally, throw in the $525,000 he wired to Daniel Minkowitz -- the partner of Rothstein and Ovi Levy in the Renato watch company -- and you're knocking on $3 million's door.
Nice chunk of change, but not much when you consider this is likely a billion-dollar heist. It's not even enough to compensate how much Ovi Levy claims he lost in the Ponzi scheme (in excess of $10 million).
So why did he wire the money? Well, as I've established, Shimon Levy is man who has had deep ties to Israeli organized
crime and has been surrounded by more than his share of violence. Shimon Levy spent a year in an Israeli prison for hiding a top Mob figure suspected of two "grisly murders," as the Miami Herald put it at the time. And in 1997, his partner at the Sea Club Resort on Fort Lauderdale beach, Zvika Yuz, was gunned down in a murder that remains unsolved. To refresh your memory on that one, click here.
Obviously we don't know the reason for the payments, but it's plausible to assume that Rothstein might have been a little concerned about Levy and his friends as he flew away with a whole lot of their money. Remember also that at the time that Rothstein was planning and making his run to Morocco, Ovi Levy contacted the Plantation Police Department and began receiving protection from uniformed cops. He claimed he was suspicious of some teens he had seen in his gated and well-guarded Hawk's Landing home and didn't want his cars -- which include a $1.6 million Bugatti and a couple of Lamborghinis among others -- broken into. But that sounds flimsy and the timing is suspicious to say the least.
Let's put it this way: The threat of violence was in the air. Whether it was real or not has yet to be determined.
There are other names on the Scherer's list that must be deciphered. Thanks to the commenters who have already done some of that sleuthing in the post below and I've got some inside dope I'll share with you tomorrow. Here's the list of Rothstein recipients again:
i. Shimon Levy $366,000.00 ii. Shimon Levy $287,500.00 iii. Onyx Capital $263,000.00 iv. Barbe Frank $240,000.00 v. Shimon Levy $225,000.00 vi. Obidia Levy $250,000.00 vii. Rachel Levy $50,000.00 viii. Daniel Minkowitz $225,000.00 ix. Benzion Varon $33,333.00 x. Dominic Ponatchio $280,000.00 xi. Daniel Minkowitz $200,000.00 xii. Daniel Minkowitz $100,000.00 xiii. Shimon Levy $366,666.00 xiv. Shimon Levy $337,500.00 xv. Onyx Capital $275,000.00 xvi. Obidia Levy $268,000.00 xvii. Obidia Levy $175,000.00 xviii. Moty Ban-Adon $132,000.00 xix. Benzion Varon $33,333.00 xx. Ahnick Kahlid $16,000,000.00 xxi. BWS Investments $300,000.00 xxii. Pirulin Group $300,000.00 xxiii. Condorde Capital $300,000.00 xxiv. National Financial $150,000.00
With that I wish y'all a happy Thanksgiving.