Letters from the issue of May 6, 2010
Rothstein Loves Money
Here comes da judge: I'm just a spectator to the circus described in "Crazy Love" (Lisa Rab, April 29). But one problem with the portrayal of the victim, Melissa Lewis, as "not appreciating mediocrity" and "a person of the highest ethics you could find" is that you had to be either deaf, dumb, and blind as a member of Scott Rothstein's firm or at the very least not very inquisitive to even be in the same building as this guy. She wasn't as perceptive or as ethical as portrayed, methinks.
Guilty, guilty: When attorneys fabricate cases and people lose their money, I have no sympathy for either side. I learned long ago that you do not take advantage of others or take what is not yours.
An attorney should be held to a higher standard. This Rothstein law firm was run by a scam artist who did not care about the other professionals there. The guilty parties should face a judge. They should take the blame for their actions, not implicate others to save their skin.
Scott Rothstein is guilty and so is his assistant, Debra Villegas. They are the only two people who took control of the money scam and made a large profit from it. Rothstein is better off admitting he took the money, and greedy investors took the fall.
Let these two individuals go to trial and explain the whole story. Then, when the process is complete, all of us will know the truth. But let the innocent go on with their lives, because there were a lot of attorneys in the firm who did not know what was going on.
Dr. Ismael Delgado
One more Rothstein victim: I knew Melissa Lewis. I know Scott Rothstein. The problem with this story, which is basically the narrative in the prosecution's case against Tony Villegas, is Scott. His scheme and closeness to the law enforcement community have propelled the conspiracy theorists into the stratosphere. Debra Villegas was clearly involved in Rothstein's Ponzi operation and might have leaked the details of some of it to Melissa, prompting Scott to order her death. Scott's eulogy at Melissa's funeral, which I attended, was bizarre. Basically, it seemed to be an extended promotion of his firm delivered with self-congratulatory sentiment. It appeared Scott had orchestrated a pep rally rather than a memorial for a slain colleague. In the end, Scott has given the murder suspect, Tony Villegas, a great gift. He has given the defense lawyers their own narrative. If they successfully spin this to the jury, Scott will claim one more victim.
Re-open it: I think the murder of Melissa Lewis should be re-opened. What if she found out about all the money laundering? What if she came upon this scam that will jail many people and someone had to silence her? There are two things one must know about homicide: Who is the victim? And who would benefit from the death? All evidence points to this law office. If these people stole, why wouldn't they kill someone to cover it up?
Shula's Wealthy Wife
You can take it with you: I don't understand how Mary Anne Shula could have said what was described in "Millionaires' Row" (Gus Garcia-Roberts, April 29). She, not Don, is the rich one in the marriage. Unless she somehow lost a good chunk of her fortune — obtained mostly from previous marriages — it is ludicrous for someone of that wealth to whine about what amounts to nickels and dimes in the grand scheme of things. These people spend more on servants, caterers, clothing, and jewelry than most people earn in a lifetime. It's almost laughable.
My question to the author: Why paint Don Shula as poor? He is and always was, in comparison to his moneybags wife.
They saved history: In response to "No Melody to This Lyric" (Natalie O'Neill, April 29): The Black Archives is responsible for having preserved much of Miami's black history. Without the work of this organization, evidence of Miami's African-American community, and how Overtown is woven into the history of this nation, simply would not exist today. But beyond that fact, what a disappointment!
Show her the money: In 2000, Miami New Times voted the Lyric Theater as "Best Restoration." At that time, the cost of the entire restoration was $1.5 million. The big question: Where has the other $8.5 million gone?
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you’ll never miss Miami New Times' biggest stories.