meet scott rothstein, soon to be adorning dictionary and thesaurus entries everywhere for the word "sleaze":
or better yet, don't meet him.
that is, if you could, since he seems to have vanished:
in a case already being compared to the bernie madoff affair, a lawsuit filed monday in broward county accuses south florida "super attorney" scott rothstein of bilking investors in a scheme run out of the powerful firm rothstein, rosenfeldt and adler, which now says it can't make payroll.
an attorney for one investor told the south florida sun sentinel that the amount of money missing could be over $100 million, though it's not clear where it went.
... he's now out of town and possibly out of the country — no one knows where exactly — and the feds have reportedly shown up at his law firm offices.
... while all of the specifics of the the alleged fraud are not known, CBS 4 reports it may have involved both taking from client trust funds and setting up a side company to sell investments in structured settlements. those are arrangements in which payments are made over time rather than all at once, reaping tax benefits for the payee and allowing the payer to avoid having to come up with the lump sum upfront.
... the problem? some of the settlements rothstein sold didn't actually exist, according to the lawsuit.
ok, wait — sure, the guy's a crook, but c'mon, this is just run-of-the-mill embezzlement. so where's the beef? scottie needs to dig a little deeper if he's gonna be our new poster boy for sleaze, doesn't he?
not to worry, folks. let's just take a look at those "structured settlements" he's been hustling, shall we?
those documents say that rothstein's firm sought out sexual discrimination and whistle-blower cases and used former cops to dig up incriminating evidence.
sakowitz, the potential investor, said rothstein boasted of having sophisticated eavesdropping equipment and that former cops would sift through potential defendants' garbage.
with compromising evidence in hand, the firm urged the targets of the claims to pay a settlement without a public lawsuit.
and this literal bottomfeeder lied to his "investors" about those, too.
folks, i believe we have a winner!
sleaze |slēz|: noun
immoral, sordid, and corrupt behavior or material, esp. in business or politics
• informal: a sordid, corrupt, or immoral person; scott rothstein