Posted Dec 09, 2009 11:50 pm CST
Just when it might have seemed that alleged wrongdoing related to the spectacular downfall of Rothstein Rosenfeldt Adler could not become more bizarre, a billionaire convicted sex offender has filed a civil racketeering lawsuit against two onetime partners of the South Florida law firm.
Contending that they prejudiced his defense of criminal and civil actions related to his alleged sexual activities with underage teens by lying about the facts in order to “pump” a $1.2 billion Ponzi scheme that made use of the law firm name, Jeffrey Epstein is seeking injunctive relief, unspecified damages in excess of $15,000 and attorney fees. Among other allegations, his Palm Beach Circuit Court suit contends that Scott Rothstein, as well as others at the firm, falsely claimed to investors in the Ponzi scheme that Epstein had offered to make a $200 million settlement and acted illegally and unethically in civil litigation against him that is still ongoing.
A copy of the complaint (PDF), which was filed Monday, is provided by the Am Law Daily. In addition to criminal practices and racketeering counts, it asserts claims for abuse of process, fraud and conspiracy to commit fraud.
Factually, it alleges that Rothstein and unspecified co-conspirators forged federal court orders and opinions, improperly intercepted conversations and pursued a litigation strategy unrelated to the merits of their clients’ cases and their clients’ interests in order to further the claimed Ponzi scheme. Rothstein told investors that he represented 52 female clients in Epstein-related matters, the suit says, when in fact he had filed only “weak” cases on behalf of exactly three young women.
As detailed in earlier ABAJournal.com posts, Rothstein, who until recently was the RRA firm’s managing partner and chief executive officer, is now jailed in a federal fraud case and the dissolving law firm is in receivership, facing multiple lawsuits. Rothstein also agreed to give up his Florida law license.
Attorney Marc Nurik, a former RRA partner who is representing Rothstein in the criminal case, was not immediately available for comment, the Am Law Daily states.
Epstein’s suit was filed by attorney Robert Critton Jr. of Burman Critton Luttier & Coleman in West Palm Beach.
ABAJournal.com: “Billionaire’s Secret Sex Case Plea Deal Shows What a Good Defense Can Do”
ABAJournal.com: “Filing: Rothstein Made $35M in 2008; Name Partner: I Wasn’t Paid $6M”
Palm Beach Post: “Billionaire sex offender says he’s a victim of Scott Rothstein”
Palm Beach Post: “Victims’ lawyers say sex offender’s lawsuit aimed at scaring female victims”