Thursday, September 6, 2012

Scott Rothstein’s wife, others charged in money-laundering plot to sell jewelry

The wife of imprisoned Ponzi schemer Scott Rothstein and two other people were charged Thursday with plotting to hide and sell more than $1 million worth of jewelry from the former Fort Lauderdale lawyer’s waterfront home before federal agents seized his assets three years ago.Kimberly W. Rothstein, her friend, Stacie Weisman, and the wife’s lawyer, Scott F. Saidel, were charged with money-laundering conspiracy, obstruction of justice and tampering with a witness in federal court.
Prosecutors said that by concealing the valuable jewelry, the three defendants prevented Internal Revenue Service agents from confiscating the property when they searched Rothstein’s home in November 2009. His wife and Weisman are accused of selling some of the jewelry to others, including Eddy Marin and jeweler Patrick Daoud, who were indicted on separate charges Thursday.
Among the jewelry items: a 12.08-carat diamong ring, according to federal prosecutors.
Kimberly Rothstein, Weisman and Saidel are also accused of seeking to have Scott Rothstein testify falsely during his deposition in a related civil bankruptcy proceeding involving his defunct law firm, Rothstein Rosenfeldt & Adler.
All five defendants are also accused of concealing the true location of certain items of jewelry during the bankruptcy proceeding to prevent the former law firm’s trustee from recovering them for victims of Rothstein’s $1.2 billion scheme. Marin and Daoud are separately accused of commiting perjury during depositions in the bankruptcy case.
“When a witness lies under oath or conspires to obstruct justice, the integrity of our system of justice is undermined,” U.S. Attorney Wifredo Ferrer said.
Rothstein is serving a 50-year sentence after pleading guilty to racketeering and other fraud charges involving the sale of purported legal settlements to investors from Florida to New York. Eight other people have been convicted on charges related to his scheme, among the largest in Florida history.
Kimberly Rothstein’s defense attorney, David Tucker, issuing a statement, saying while she claims she was not aware of her husband’s racketeering activities, “She takes full responsibility for her actions in regard to the charge filed today.”

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Michael Hearns an Anti Money Laundering specialist with over 24 years of AML experience can also be found at and on twitter at :!/LaunderingMoney

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Griselda Blanco Queen of Cocaine....hardly!

By Michael Hearns

The recent murder of Griselda Blanco in Medellin Colombia closes a sad a and tragic chapter on the brutality of the cocaine trade. At least that is what many would like for you to believe.  Griselda Blanco's murder should be viewed for exactly what it is; another violent end to marginalized sociopath who has been given undeserved iconic status by the print and visual media.

Griselda Blanco was a sociopathic remorseless entrepreneur who slithered through a crevice in American law enforcement that was unprepared and without capable resources and foresight to recognize the tsunami of illicit dollars and power that was being ushered in through the cocaine trade of the 1980's and 90's. Griselda Blanco was an opportunistic individual who used her guile and sociopathology to insulate her as she trampled across the boundaries of decency in what we know to be an indecent business; drug trafficking. She has been given demigod status  for her harsh, abrasive, quick tempered, ruthless, conniving ways and her fast penchant for ordering the execution of those she opposed by her spineless groveling minions.  For all the bluster and for all the talk that that her hired henchmen now spout from the confines of this nation's penitentiaries they themselves had plenty of opportunity to dispatch Griselda Blanco but for either lack of conviction or lack of cerebral mass they  continued to carry out her murderous ways helping to support the fallacy of  Griselda Blanco as a Godmother of Cocaine.

Lets face facts. Griselda Blanco was an integral cocaine trafficker within the Medellin Cartel and she sanctioned, paid for, and demanded that many of her competitors, those who crossed her, and those who stood in the way of her ascension for wealth be murdered. Her distinction from her contemporaries was simply gender. Aside form that she is no different than many of the male drug traffickers who partook in their craft in the 1980's and 90's. As a society we lionize women villains because it grates against the American psyche of women being maternal, nurturing, and a source of comfort. Ma Barker, Bonnie Parker, Aileen Wournos, and Annie Palmer have all ascended to a folklore like status as queens or godmothers of crime and murder.

It is easy to view the life of Griselda Balnco from the viewfinder of a movie camera or the soft glow of a computer monitor and surmise she was the "Queen of Cocaine" or "The Godmother of Cocaine."  Not having the privilege of either but being one of the few who actually had his feet on the ground in the cocaine world for a long time  it is apparent to me that the reality is she was a large scale cocaine trafficker who clawed, cheated, and murderously existed in a business that rewards the victor regardless of the method.

Nothing more.
Nothing less.

The biggest current mistake being made is the assumption that Griselda Blanco was murdered  to settle an old score or to appease a long time  former adversary. More than likely it is because the criminal element of Medellin has been able to exist quietly in the shadow of the Mexican Cartel and Griselda Blanco's notoriety was becoming troublesome. Talks of more movies and books have filled the air. Crime and notoriety usually never mix well. In this case the celluloid film and the pen may have actually been stronger the sword.

Michael Hearns an Anti Money Laundering specialist with over 24 years of AML experience can also be found at and on twitter at :!/LaunderingMoney  and