When Scott Rothstein was arrested in late 2009 for running more than a billion-dollar investment scam, everyone wondered who else was in on it.
If you are to believe the extraordinary testimony the convicted South Florida attorney recently gave in civil cases brought by hundreds of his fleeced investors, the cast of potential criminal co-conspirators reads like credits in an epic movie entitled “The Great Ponzi Scheme.”
Rothstein, 49, who once lived in a waterfront mansion and chartered private jets, testified he blew $150 million on a “rock-star lifestyle” that allowed him to swagger in legal, business and political circles to create the illusion of power to peddle his Ponzi. But he also alleged he gave out cash like “Santa Claus hands out candy canes” to influence lawyers, politicians, judges and police officers, declaring that “bribes” and “public corruption” were another layer to his lifestyle of “greed.”
The middle-aged con man, now desperate to reduce his 50-year sentence so he doesn’t die in prison, fingered so many colleagues and associates during his so-called Big Deposition that the federal criminal investigation could result in far more defendants than first envisioned, according to lawyers familiar with the evidence. Read more from Jay Weaver here. And Fred Grimm's wit about it here.