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Wednesday
Oct192011

Rothstein Trustee Files Clawbacks Seeking Funds Spent on Jewelry and Cars

Herbert Stettin, the bankruptcy trustee appointed to recover assets for the benefit of victims defrauded by Scott Rothstein's $1.4 billion Ponzi scheme, filed several more clawback suits seeking the return of funds spent by Rothstein on expensive jewelry and exotic automobiles.  The clawback suits, known in bankruptcy parlance as preference actions, seek the return of funds transferred from Rothstein prior to the filing of the petition putting Rothstein's law firm, Rothstein Rosenfeldt Adler, P.A. ("RRA") into bankruptcy.  

Stettin is proceeding under the Florida Uniform Fraudulent Transfer Act ("FUFTA") and the Bankruptcy Code, which allow avoidance of preferential transfers made with actual intent to defraud or that were constructively fraudulent and thus made without reasonably equivalent value.  While bankruptcy laws provide for the avoidance of these transfers within two years of the bankruptcy petition filing date, its FUFTA counterparts extend this "lookback" period to four years from the filing date.  The latest round of clawbacks seek over $10 million from the following six entities:

  • Levinson Jewelers - $9.8 million
  • Braman Motors of Miami - $1.5 million sought;
  • Recovery Racing, LLC - $560,000 sought;
  • Euro Motorcars - $177,000 sought;
  • Thunder Cycle - $69,000 sought; and 
  • Muhammed Sohail's Ultimate Cigars - $57,500 sought

The majority of funds sought relate to Rothstein's affinity for expensive jewelry and cars.  Stettin is seeking the return of nearly $10 million from Levinson Jewelers, whose owners were allegedly close friends with Rothstein.Stettin is also seeking the return of funds from Braman Motors used to purchase a 2009 Bugatti Veyron, which was sold at auction last year for nearly $900,000.  

Rothstein is currently serving a 50-year sentence in federal prison.  

The suits filed by Stettin can be found here.

 

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