Posted Dec 07, 2009 06:27 pm CST
Observers wondered how a South Florida attorney who nobody had heard of a few years ago could have millions to spend on a lavish lifestyle and high-profile charitable donations during a recession.
But, without specific evidence of wrongdoing, no one picked up the phone and called police or bar authorities with a viable tip before Scott Rothstein’s law firm imploded this fall, reports the Daily Business Review.
“Of course it raised lots and lots of eyebrows, but that is not enough,” says law professor Robert Jarvis of Nova Southeastern University of the money spent by Rothstein and his Fort Lauderdale-based firm, Rothstein Rosenfeldt Adler.
As detailed in earlier ABAJournal.com posts, Rothstein has surrendered his Florida law license and is now in jail in a federal fraud case concerning the $1 billion Ponzi scheme he allegedly ran. His RRA law firm—which has been described by a prosecutor as a racketeering enterprise—is being wound down by a receiver.
Meanwhile, a bankruptcy court filing by the law firm representing RRA shows that Rothstein earned about $35.7 million last year and had made a little over $10 million this year before his spectacular downfall, reports the Miami Herald.
Although the filing states that name partner Stuart Rosenfeldt made $6 million last year and $850,000 this year, his lawyer disputes that.
“At no time did my client make anywhere near $6 million,” attorney Bruce Lehr tells the newspaper. He declined to say exactly how much Rosenfeldt did make, but said the amount is closer to this year’s figure than $6 million.
ABAJournal.com: “Prosecutor Says Rothstein Firm Was a Racketeering Enterprise”
Miami Herald: “Feds: Scott Rothstein showered police with `gratuities’”
Sun-Sentinel: “Scott Rothstein’s rise and fall”