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The New Economy

Top 5 things to know about Scott Rothstein

South Florida megalawyer Scott Rothstein is indicted on charges that he used a $1.2 billion Ponzi scheme to peddle influence.

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According to the same analysis, Rothstein's luxury automobile fleet was also star-studded: two $1.6 million Bugatti Veyrons, five Ferrari models ranging from $443,712 to $179,950, and three Lamborghini's worth more than $300,000 apiece. The 24 vehicles were registered to Rothstein and a series of 23 companies he incorporated between February 2007 and October 2008.

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He also owns an 87-foot, $5-million yacht, the Princess Kimberly, and is part owner of a luxury vodka maker, a high-end watch company, and a sports-marketing firm.

4. A security-conscious operator

The Secret Service might take a few cues from Rothstein. Access to his office at the law firm he founded was described thus:

Swipe a security card over a scanner, walk under a hidden microphone and a surveillance camera and go to an intercom to be buzzed through a second door.
Enter a soundproof room after passing by an off-duty police officer in uniform. Photos of smiling politicians and celebrities line the walls, all standing next to a spiky-haired, sharply dressed man -- the same man sitting behind the desk.

That's after stepping off a private elevator.

He was also careful enough to ask associates which countries did not have extradition treaties with the United States and Israel, according to the SunSentinel. When Morocco burbled up as a possibility, Rothstein disappeared to the North African nation after socking $16 million away in a bank account there before returning.

5. He wants to pay it all back

"At the end of the day, the people who deserve to get money back hopefully will," Rothstein's attorney, Marc Nurik, told the Associated Press.

In addition, Rothstein's confidence is legendary. He never stopped talking to reporters, even as he held out in a hotel room with his lawyer Monday. Below, a video of Rothstein's open banter during lunch at a well-known eatery.

"Look, I sleep in the bed I make," he told the New Times. "I tend toward the flashy side, but it's a persona."

David Grant is a Monitor contributor. Keep up with the latest economic commentary and news through @CSMecon.

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