The wife of South Florida Ponzi schemer Scott Rothstein is facing federal charges after she tried to hide jewelry bought with proceeds from the scam from the government, the U.S. Attorney's Office said Thursday.
Kimberly Rothstein, 38, is one of five people charged in a new federal indictment related to her husband's $1.2 billion scheme, prosecutors said. Also charged in the indictment are 49-year-old Stacie Weisman, 45-year-old Scott F. Saidel, 50-year-old Eddy Marin and 54-year-old Patrick Daoud.
Rothstein, Weisman and Saidel face charges of conspiracy to commit money laundering, to obstruct justice and to tamper with a witness. Marin and Daoud are charged with obstruction of justice and perjury.
In a statement released Thursday, Kim Rothstein's attorneys said she "takes full responsibility for her actions in regard to the charge filed today."
"Kim would like to take the opportunity to express her disappointment, shame, and sadness in regard to all of the victims of her husband, Scott Rothstein's, actions related to the Ponzi scheme for which he has previously been sentenced," the statement read. "She had no involvement or knowledge of his fraudulent activity."
According to prosecutors, as part of his plea agreement Scott Rothstein had agreed to forfeit to the government all assets acquired through the Ponzi scheme, including real estate, vehicles, vessels, business interests, luxury watches, sports memorabilia and jewelry.
On Nov. 9, agents with the IRS went to the Rothstein residence where they were assisted by Kimberly Rothstein in retrieving the cash, jewelry and watches, prosecutors said.
But before, during and after the seizure, Kimberly Rothstein, Weisman and Saidel concealed more than $1 million in jewelry to keep it away from the government, prosecutors said.
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The three later sold and attempted to sell a portion of the jewelry to and through various persons, including Marin and Daoud.
All five later took steps to conceal the location of the jewelry in connection with civil bankruptcy proceedings, and Marin and Daoud committed perjury during depositions related to the proceedings, prosecutors said.
Kimberly Rothstein, Weisman and Saidel even tried to have Scott Rothstein give false testimony in connection with the proceedings, prosecutors said.
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"The integrity of our system of justice is based on the truthfulness of every witness that participates in the process. When a witness lies under oath or conspires to obstruct justice, the integrity of our system of justice is undermined. The charges filed against these five individuals are proof of our Office’s commitment to safeguard and protect the integrity of our legal system," U.S. Attorney Wifredo A. Ferrer said in a statement. "Thanks to the continued dedication and commitment of our law enforcement partners and our prosecutors, these individuals will be brought to justice and the integrity in our system of justice restored.”
Scott Rothstein is serving a 50-year sentence after pleading guilty to charges related to the massive scheme.