Source: Kim Rothstein went undercover
When her attempt to hide more than a million dollars in Ponzi jewelry from the FBI unraveled, Kim Rothstein wore a wire for the feds to help build a case against her lawyer and others, according to a source close to her criminal conspiracy case.
She actually stole away with a shopping bag of jewelry from the home she shared with Scott Rothstein a few weeks before the billion-dollar Ponzi scheme imploded in October 2009, said the source who spoke on condition of anonymity.
According to the source:
Kim already knew that she and Scott were headed for a divorce and she claimed that Scott was mentally and physically abusive and she feared that he would use the courts to leave her destitute.
So she took the sack of jewelry to the home of her best friend, Stacie Weisman, a promoter for Southern Wine and Spirits whom she'd met on the charity circuit. Weisman agreed to keep it for her.
Then the Ponzi scheme imploded and Kim told FBI agents and bankruptcy attorneys -- the latter under oath -- that she had given up all the Ponzi valuables. At the same time, she was conspiring with Weisman how to sell the jewelry.
Weisman, who had a federal bank fraud conviction in her past, went to an old friend, Eddy Marin, a former drug smuggler who had done many years in prison. Marin then began unloading watches. They also went to Kim's attorney, Scott Saidel, who told them he could use his law firm trust accounts to hide the money and that they would all be protected by attorney-client privilege.
Weisman took one $400,000 diamond ring to her friend Patrick Daoud, a well-known jeweler whom she also knew from the charity circuit. Daoud bought the ring under the table for $175,000 cash, according to the feds.
As the scheme progressed, the bankruptcy lawyers were trying to find the missing jewelry. The $400,000 diamond ring was traced to Daoud's Fine Jewelry in Fort Lauderdale and the name "Stacie" was found on a Daoud document related to getting the ring certified.
Store owner Patrick Daoud was deposed and denied that it was Weisman who had brought him the ring. Then Weisman was subpoenaed to testify about the jewelry, as was the imprisoned Scott Rothstein.
That's when the conspirators, led by Kim, devised a plan. They would claim that the ring had been sold by Scott Rothstein to a man named Robert Fuchs, who had recently died and couldn't contradict the testimony. The only way to make that work was for Scott to be in on it, so Kim tried to get him to lie about the diamond ring as well.
What happened next still isn't known. Many believe that Scott Rothstein -- who may have feared that his wife was trying to set him up -- informed on his wife to the feds. Or the feds may have busted the plan. Whatever the truth, IRS agent Taryn Guariglia, who led the case, had Kim Rothstein dead to rights and Kim agreed to record conversations about the conspiracy with Saidel, Marin, and Daoud. All five were charged and Kim, Weisman, and Saidel have admitted their guilt, while Marin and Daoud have pleaded not guilty and may fight the charges.