Kim Rothstein charged with hiding Ponzi money

Author: Bob Norman, Reporter, bnorman@Local10.com
Published On: Sep 06 2012 01:22:18 PM EDT   Updated On: Sep 06 2012 07:30:07 PM EDT

Kim Rothstein, the wife of imprisoned Ponzi schemer Scott Rothstein, has been charged with conspiracy to commit money laundering. 

She is expected to plead guilty to hiding -- and trying to sell -- Ponzi valuables worth more than $1 million. Also charged were her attorney, Scott Saidel, close friend Stacie Weisman, Patrick Daoud, the owner of Daoud's Fine Jewelry in Fort Lauderdale, and Eddy Marin, a convicted cocaine dealer.

Kim Rothstein's criminal lawyer put out a written statement on her behalf this afternoon:

In response to the Information filed against Kimberly Rothstein, please be advised that Kim welcomes the opportunity to put a very challenging time in her life behind her.
Kim would like to take the opportunity to express her disappointment, shame, and sadness in regard to all of the victims of her husband, Scott Rothstein’s, actions related to the Ponzi scheme for which he has previously been sentenced. She had no involvement or knowledge of his fraudulent activity.
She takes full responsibility for her actions in regard to the charge filed today.
Kim is a vibrant, diverse, and deeply caring person who looks forward to being a productive citizen in the years to come.
This is a very difficult time in her life and we ask that the media be sensitive to her privacy in this matter.

Here's the federal press release:

Wifredo A. Ferrer, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, and José A. Gonzalez, Special Agent in Charge, Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation Division (IRS-CID), announced the filing of charges against Kimberly Wendell Rothstein, 38, Stacie Weisman, 49, Scott F. Saidel, 45, Eddy Marin, 50, and Patrick Daoud, 54.

Earlier today, an Indictment was filed charging Marin and Daoud on charges of obstruction of justice and perjury. Also today, a Criminal Information was filed charging Kimberly Rothstein, Stacie Weisman and Scott F. Saidel with conspiracy to commit money laundering, to obstruct justice, and to tamper with a witness.

According to the charging documents, former Ft. Lauderdale attorney Scott W. Rothstein, who was the Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the law firm of Rothstein, Rosenfeldt and Adler, P.A. (RRA), used the funds obtained from the operation of a Ponzi scheme to purchase tens of millions of dollars of real estate, vehicles, vessels, business interests, luxury watches, jewelry and sports memorabilia for himself, his wife, Kimberly Rothstein, and others. As part of his plea agreement, Scott W. Rothstein agreed to forfeit to the government all assets acquired with funds derived through the aforesaid Ponzi scheme. On November 9, 2009, agents of the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigations, went to the Rothstein residence, where Kimberly Rothstein assisted the agents in retrieving what was believed to be all of the available cash, jewelry and luxury watches which had previously been purchased by Scott W. Rothstein with proceeds derived from the Ponzi scheme. In fact, before, during and after the aforesaid seizure by federal agents on November 9, 2009, Kimberly Rothstein, Stacie Weisman, and Scott F. Saidel knowingly took action to conceal certain items of jewelry, valued in excess of one million dollars for the purpose of preventing the government from exercising its authority to take such property into its lawful custody and control. Thereafter, Kimberly Rothstein and Stacie Weisman sold and attempted to sell a portion of this jewelry to and through various persons, including Eddy Marin and Patrick Daoud.

The charging documents further allege that, in connection with civil proceedings instituted by the Trustee in bankruptcy for RRA, all of the defendants took steps to obstruct justice by concealing the true location of certain items of jewelry in order to prevent its availability for use in those proceedings. It is further alleged that Marin and Daoud committed perjury during depositions in connection with those proceedings, and that Kimberly Rothstein, Stacie Weisman and Scott F. Saidel sought to have Scott W. Rothstein testify falsely in connection with those proceedings.

U.S. Attorney Wifredo A. Ferrer stated, “The integrity of our system of justice is based on the truthfulness of every witness that participates in the process. When a witness lies under oath or conspires to obstruct justice, the integrity of our system of justice is undermined. The charges filed against these five individuals are proof of our Office’s commitment to safeguard and protect the integrity of our legal system. Thanks to the continued dedication and commitment of our law enforcement partners and our prosecutors, these individuals will be brought to justice and the integrity in our system of justice restored.”

IRS-CID Special Agent in Charge José A. Gonzalez stated, “Those who assist others to conceal assets subject to forfeiture will be fully investigated and prosecuted. Together with the U.S. Attorney’s Office, we will continue to pursue forfeiture of all assets acquired with funds derived from Rothstein’s Ponzi scheme.”