Just before Kim Rothstein was due to learn her sentence for hiding more than $1 million in jewelry from authorities investigating the $1.2 billion Ponzi scheme masterminded by her husband, Scott Rothstein, she filed divorce papers with a Broward county court. A Florida federal judge later sentenced her to an 18-month prison term, where she currently remains incarcerated at a medium-security prison in central Florida. This week, a Florida bankruptcy judge entered a $2 million judgment against her resulting from the missing jewelry.
In comments made by Kim Rothstein's attorney, it was revealed that divorce papers have still not yet been served on Scott Rothstein. According to attorney David Tucker, it has been difficult to serve Rothstein because his whereabouts are not publicly disclosed due to his rumored participation in the federal witness protection program resulting from his extensive cooperation with federal authorities. Indeed, a search for Scott Rothstein on the Bureau of Prison's Inmate Locator yields no results. As Tucker remarked to the Wall Street Journal,
“How do you serve someone who’s in a secret location?” Mr. Tucker says. “It’s been very instructive for me.”
However, the inability to locate Rothstein does not completely stop the divorce in its tracks; rather, Florida law allows a divorce to continue even in the absence of a spouse upon the satisfaction of several requirements, including the filing of an affidavit detailing these efforts and the publication of the divorce in a newspaper. These efforts are certainly not aided by the fact that both spouses are currently incarcerated. Additionally, it also remains possible that the divorce filing could simply have been an attempt to distance Rothstein from her husband on the eve of her sentencing.