Kim Rothstein blew through nearly $900,000 on an American Express credit card since 2006, and received another $200,000 in salary and reimbursements for political contributions, according to a lawsuit filed against her Wednesday.
Bankruptcy attorneys dissecting her husband's massive Ponzi scheme want all that money back. They claim in the suit filed in federal court in Fort Lauderdale that she owes the $1.1 million to creditors of her husband's defunct law firm, which had issued the credit card.
But it could be more, because the accountants working for the bankruptcy attorneys have not finished analyzing how much Scott Rothstein spent on his wife. She said in a recent bankruptcy deposition that he bought her so much jewelry she could not list every item.
Federal agents have already seized all her jewelry, she said in her Feb. 18 deposition.
"It is believed this additional sum is well into the millions of dollars, just on jewelry purchases alone, and not counting personal consumer goods," the suit against her says.
Kim Rothstein liked expensive shoes, Louis Vuitton handbags, Gucci accessories and evening dresses by Zola Keller, she said in the deposition. She could burn through thousands of dollars on a shopping outing, or drop nearly $5,000 buying platform shoes from a chic Los Angeles boutique online, she said.
She used the American Express card for "jewelry, clothing, shoes, handbags, leather goods, plastic surgery treatments, eyewear, electronics, local hotel room and spa charges, household furnishings, home gym equipment, vacations and personal travel, athletic club charges, groceries, charitable contributions, personal meals, general household and other items," according to the suit.
The lawsuit also seeks repayment of $153,000 in salary she was paid by the Rothstein Rosenfeldt Adler law firm and $104,000 in political contributions she made that were reimbursed by the law firm.
"The third set of payments the Trustee seeks to recover includes payments made by RRA to Mrs. Rothstein, some of which were classified in RRA's financial records as ‘professional fees or fee/cost income,' even though Mrs. Rothstein provided essentially no meaningful services to RRA," the suit says.
"These payments were reflected by numerous checks written by RRA to Mrs. Rothstein over a 4-year period from the RRA payroll or operating accounts. During 2006, Mrs. Rothstein received $78,198.71 in ‘professional fees or fee/cost income,' and she also received $75,000 on February 20, 2009. These payments provided no benefit to RRA and thus, RRA received no or less than reasonably equivalent value in exchange for these payments."
Kim Rothstein's civil attorney, Scott Saidel, could not be reached for comment Wednesday evening.
The suit claims she made large donations from her personal savings account and money was then wired into that account from law firm bank accounts to reimburse her.
"For example, on November 8, 2007, Mrs. Rothstein made a political contribution of $28,500 to the National Republican Senatorial Committee, and on November 13, 2007, a $30,000 wire transfer from an RRA operating account was credited to Mrs. Rothstein's personal account," the suit says.
"Similarly, on May 29, 2008, Mrs. Rothstein wrote a check for $70,000 to the John McCain presidential campaign and on May 30, 2008, a $74,223.99 wire transfer was sent from an RRA trust account to Mrs. Rothstein's personal account. These two political contribution reimbursements totaled $104,223.99."
Scott Rothstein, 47, pleaded guilty to five counts of racketeering, money laundering and fraud in January. He has been held in federal custody since his Dec. 1 arrest. He faces up to 100 years in prison at his May 6 sentencing.
Peter Franceschina can be reached at pfranceschina@SunSentinel.com or 954-459-2255.
Scott Rothstein’s wife hit with $1.1 million lawsuit
Bankruptcy lawyers claim she owes the money to creditors of her husband’s defunct law firm
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