Unless you've been under a rock for the past few months, you should know that South Florida got stuck with its own mini-Madoff who goes by the name of Scott Rothstein. Yesterday, Rothstein was sentence by U.S. District Court Judge James Cohn to 50 years in prison for masterminding a $1.4 billion Ponzi scheme. Our sister paper, New Times Broward-Palm Beach and Bob Norman have been following the case ever since the news broke late last year.
Norman was at the courthouse yesterday for the sentencing and witnessed the media circus surrounding the case. He describes a few highlights of the sentencing:
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While Judge Cohn was summing up Rothstein's crimes before announcing the
sentence, Rothstein's mother, Gay, held her head in her hands, her
eyes closed, her lips occasionally moving as if she were praying. When
he said "50 years," she let out a gasp and broke into tears. Later she
had to be helped from the courtroom as she cried. Rothstein's wife, Kim,
also wept during and after the sentencing.
Rothstein got up at
one point to address his victims in the courtroom, those he stole money
from, his former law firm partners, "members of the community," his
family, and the judiciary itself. "I am truly and deeply sorry for what I
have done. I don't expect your forgiveness," he said, his voice
cracking at times with emotion. "I'm ashamed and embarrassed. Thank
According to the Miami Herald, Rothstein will be placed in the witness protection program after helping authorities with the arrest of an Italian Mafia figure.
Rothstein's Ponzi scheme was far reaching, including an attempt by his company, the Bova Group, to take over Casa Casuarina (AKA the Versace Mansion) in Miami Beach. Luckily, famed restaurateur Barton G. Weiss came to the landmark's rescue after the fallout and opened the Villa by Barton G. back in March.
The courts have yet to decide if Rothstein's victims will be compensated. But rest assured, Norman will have the scoop, so stay tuned. In the meantime, stop over at the Daily Pulp for video and photos from yesterday's sentencing.