Kimberly W. Rothstein of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and four others were accused of hiding valuables stemming from the Rothstein Ponzi scheme, then attempting to sell them for profit, a press release from the United States Attorney’s Office said Monday. Among those facing charges are Patrick Daoud, 54, Scott F. Saidel, 45, Eddy Marin, 50, Stacie Weisman, 49, and Rothstein, 38. Each defendant is faced with multiple federal charges, including obstruction of justice and perjury. Rothstein, Weisman, and Saidel are facing additional charges of money laundering and tampering with a witness. It is unclear if any of the defendants has retained a private criminal defense attorney.
Earlier reports indicate that the defendants were purportedly involved in a Ponzi scheme orchestrated by Scott W. Rothstein, a former Fort Lauderdale attorney. In the now-infamous billion-dollar scheme, Rothstein allegedly duped investors and reaped exorbitant benefits. He reportedly used his significant gains to live “like a rock star,” buying jewelry, expensive watches, real estate, and vehicles. He allegedly distributed to purchases amongst himself, his wife, and friends.
According to reports, Rothstein’s scheme involved the purchase of fraudulent structured settlements, where individuals sold off legal settlements for a substantial amount of money. The scheme reportedly netted Rothstein a whopping $1.2 billion, reports indicate. Prior to his arrest Rothstein escaped to Morocco, but was later arrested upon re-entering the country. After his takedown, detectives claim he was valued at $100 million, which was substantially less than the $1.2 billion he reportedly netted in the scheme.
Following his arrest, Rothstein reportedly agreed to hand over the money he had made from the scheme, as well as the goods he had purchased, to the United State government. As part of that agreement, officials from the IRS carried out a seizure of the merchandise from Rothstein’s residence. His wife assisted in the operation, during which federal officers seized cash, pieces of jewelry, and the expensive watches that Rothstein purchased with the fraudulent money.
During the raid, Mrs. Rothstein was purportedly supposed to hand over all of the valuable merchandise acquired through the scheme. However, detectives claim that Mrs. Rothstein, aided by conspirators Weisman and Saidel, made an effort to hide various pieces of jewelry from the investigators prior to the seizure. The hidden goods were estimated to be worth over $1 million, reports say. It is not clear where or how the defendants are suspected to have hidden the goods.
Following the government issued seizure, Mrs. Rothstein and Weisman allegedly tried to sell some of the undisclosed jewelry. Some of the purported sales were made through other suspects, including Marin and Daoud. Because they hid the jewelry and lied about its existence, reports claim that the group engaged in a number of illegal activities, including obstruction of justice, perjury, and tampering with evidence.
Reports go on to say that both Marin and Daoud continued to lie about the hidden jewelry during sworn statements taken after the raids. Weisman, Saidel, and Mrs. Rothstein also purportedly asked Rothstein to withhold the truth about their connection with the case during his court appearances.