Fort Lauderdale’s Bernard Madoff
Would you trust this guy? Seems a lot of people did, to the tune of more than $1.2 billion dollars that are now gone. And this guy, Scott Rothstein, is heading to jail for probably the rest of his life, or at least 25 years of it, giving up all his assets of $300 million, putting his wife and children out on the street, and singing like a canary as to how he did it all, pulled off his own version of a Ponzi scheme.
Talk about a Bernard Madoff wannabe. This guy was big; he’s got pictures with celebrities and politicians. He was truly living the high life, and he wasn’t hiding himself like Madoff kind of did. He was giving all sorts of money away, as well as helping to raise other money. Of course, it turns out none of the money was his to give away, and many of those charities are having to give it back.
Of all things, he wasn’t even a financial guy like Madoff was; he was a lawyer. He didn’t tell people he was investing money that he was never going to invest. Instead, he told people that he had clients waiting for settlement money who were willing to accept less of it if they could get a lump sum payment now. As in, tell someone that a client was waiting for a $500,000 payment to come in, but would accept $250,000 and when the lawsuit was settled the donor would get the $500,000, making money on the deal. Those are my figures, but that’s how the scam was run. Of course, the more investors he got into it, the more he could pay certain people off.
Of course, it didn’t stop there. He then told these guys that instead of just taking the money, to let him invest their money in a hedge fund, where they could make even more money. You guessed it; no hedge fund. All money again came from new investors.
So, they’re now selling off his stuff, knowing that there’s no way they’ll ever come close to the amount of money he got from all these other people. However, unlike the investors in Madoff, this time I believe the people were stupid and greedy. I can’t imagine giving someone money for anything like this unless I got to meet the clients and saw the paperwork for the lawsuit, which they didn’t get to do. So trusting and naive; who said rich people were intelligent?