American Greed Episode 42: $1.2 Billion Scam: Ft. Frauderdale

Case File

$1.2 Billion Scam: Ft. Frauderdale

  • The Lawyer
  • Scott Rothstein opens a Ft. Lauderdale law firm. He's determined to make it the biggest and best. But Rothstein needs capital and cash to feed his appetite. How will he become an overnight success?
  • The Con
  • He develops a scam. Rothstein sells fake legal settlements to wealthy investors. The scheme attracts hundreds of investors who pay millions for settlements that don't exist. Rothstein promises a return of 15% or more. It all sounds too good to be true... and it is.
  • The Celebrity
  • In the world of the super rich, attorney Scott Rothstein is trying to outspend them all. He becomes a local celebrity. He's go-to-guy for politicians in need of money and the source of enormous donations for local charities.
  • The Lifestyle
  • Rothstein showcases his wealth. He drives a fleet of luxury cars…a Mazeratti, Ferrari and a Bugatti. There's a yacht named for his wife, the "Princess Kimberly." He lives in an opulent house where even the toilets are made of gold.
  • Rothstein spends money like it will never run out…but when it does, the devastating truth is revealed.

Web Extras

  • South Florida attorney Scott Rothstein was the mastermind behind the biggest Ponzi scheme in that state's  history. Known for his lavish spending and charitable contributions, Rothstein also helped raise money for 2008 Presidential hopeful John McCain.In June of 2010, he received a 50-year prison sentence for running a $1.2 billion investment scam through his firm Rothstein Rosenfeldt Adler. Rothstein said he didn't deserve more than 30 years because he pleaded guilty, spilled his guts to the fe

    Here, we take a look at some of the most notable Ponzi scheme scams to come to light since the Bernard Madoff case.

  • Scott Rothstein lays out his scheme in this letter to the judge.

  • Rothstein’s scheme was no simple plan. Check out the prosecutor’s diagram for where the money went.