The wife of convicted Ponzi schemer Scott Rothstein was charged by authorities on Thursday with concealing over $1 million of assets purchased with proceeds of her husband's $1.4 billion Ponzi scheme. According to charging documents, Mrs. Rothstein and several others conspired to withhold numerous pieces of jewelry from the federal government after Rothstein's scheme was uncovered, including a 12.08 carat diamond ring. In a criminal information, Kim Rothstein was charged with conspiracy to commit money laundering, obstruction of justice, and witness tampering. While the charges carry possible maximum sentences of at least 5 years, the choice of charging document suggests that a plea deal has been reached or is in the works.
According to authorities, Rothstein and two others, including her former attorney Scott F. Saidel, took steps to prevent numerous pieces of jewelry from being turned over to federal authorities that was purchased with tainted proceeds of her husband's scheme. In addition to the mentioned 12.08 carat diamond ring, other withheld pieces of jewelry included:
- An engagement ring and wedding band with 18 emerald cut diamonds;
- 10 watches, including a Rolex with leopard design, a woman's Piaget and a platinum/diamond Pierre Kunz;
- 5 sets of earrings, several necklaces, and a variety of gold coins;
- Pearl, diamond, and sapphire cufflinks, and 50 1-ounce gold bars
After the items were withheld from authorities, Rothstein and two others attempted to sell several of the pieces to local jewelers, two of which were also charged by authorities. Additionally, Scott Rothstein was also pressured to lie to investigators about the whereabouts of the missing jewelry.
Besides Rothstein and Saidel, three others were charged. The two jewelers, Eddy Marin and Patrick Daoud, had charges filed against them in a type of charging document that does not suggest a forthcoming plea deal. Indeed, Daoud's attorney, Fred Haddad, has indicated that his client will be fighting the charges against him, which include obstruction of justice and perjury concerning the 12-carat ring.
In a 2010 story from NBC Miami, it was reported that Kim Rothstein forfeited approximately 300 pieces of jewelry to authorities worth nearly $1 million after the scheme collapsed.