Monday, December 12, 2011

"The only way I cannot die in prison is to tell the truth."

That was Scott Rothstein at his depo today -- and the lawyers were apparently buying it:
“I first asked him a little bit about why we should believe him,” said attorney Charles Lichtman, with the Fort Lauderdale law firm Berger Singerman, which is representing the bankruptcy trustee seeking to recover millions of dollars for investors and creditors. “I think Scott came off as extremely credible,” Lichtman said. “It was a nonstop dialogue about all aspects of the scheme. I guarantee the public has not heard a fraction of what happened. He ties together everything in a logical way.” Fort Lauderdale attorney William Scherer, who is suing Rothstein and others in a parallel civil case, backed that assessment. “In my judgment, he’s telling the truth,” said Scherer, who is representing 25 investors who lost $160 million. “It’s much worse than I realized. I’m saddened by some of what I’m hearing about my profession and my town.” Scherer, Lichtman and other lawyers interviewed outside the federal courthouse were reluctant to reveal the names of potential co-conspirators fingered by Rothstein in his deposition. But they said he spread the blame beyond himself, to colleagues in his former 70-attorney law firm to employees at the firm’s one-time bank, Toronto Dominion.
Let's bring in the criminal defense lawyer for some perspective here before we declare Rothstein the definition of truth: “It’s obvious to me there are people he’s going after and there are others he’s trying to protect,” said criminal defense attorney Sam Rabin, who is representing TD Bank vice president, Frank Spinosa. Spinosa dealt directly with Rothstein and is under criminal investigation.

Judge Trott from the Ninth Circuit has a good seminar on informants that he teaches to prosecutors. I wonder what he would say about Rothstein. This is a passage in which he tells prosecutors to commit to memory:
Criminals are likely to say and do almost anything to get what they want, especially when what they want is to get out of trouble with the law. This willingness to do anything includes not only truthfully spilling the beans on friends and relatives, but also lying, committing perjury, manufacturing evidence, soliciting others to corroborate their lies with more lies, and double-crossing anyone with whom they come into contact, including the prosecutor. A drug addict can sell out his mother to get a deal, and burglars, robbers, murders, and thieves are not far behind. Criminals are remarkably manipulative and skillfully devious. Many are outright conscienceless sociopaths to whom "truth" is a wholly meaningless concept. To some, "conning" people is a way of life. Others are just basically unstable people. A "reliable informant" one day may turn into a consummate prevaricator the next.


Anonymous said...

For better or worse, Rothstein's epic rise in the legal profession is a pitiful statement as to the lack of real barriers that should exist for an attorney to become a respected member of the legal community. The legal profession professes the importance of keeping a good reputation and ethics and Rothstein shows that a couple of free dinners and a lot of cash can short cut your way to the highest levels of the very community. The legal profession is not a noble one any longer. My kids will go into medical research, graduate school or alike before i allow the to sully themselves with the business/trade this as become.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

People believe what they want to believe.

Anonymous said...

I worked at RRA. Judge Trott nailed it with this:

"Criminals are remarkably manipulative and skillfully devious. Many are outright conscienceless sociopaths to whom "truth" is a wholly meaningless concept. To some, "conning" people is a way of life. Others are just basically unstable people."

I learned my lesson about believing Scott Rothstein. The legal community be warned. He was not to be trusted then. He is not to be trusted now.

Anonymous said...

Writers write, shooters shoot (basketball term) and liars lie. That's the way of the world.

BTW: Judge Trott was one of the original Highwaymen (Michael Row Your Boat Ashore). Still plays a mean guitar. He was #3 in DOJ under President RWR. In the final days of the administration, he was brought into the oval office and told "Setphen, you have been a loyal soldier, what do you want?" Without hesitation, he responded, "I want to be a 9th Circuit Judge." There's a lesson in there somewhere.

Anonymous said...

Wow! 35 lawyers at Tothstein's deposition. I would rather have a vasectomy without anasthesia than being part of that group of clowns.