STATEMENT BY MIAMI ATTORNEY AND REAL ESTATE DEVELOPER ALAN SAKOWITZ CONCERNING THE ALLEGED SCOTT ROTHSTEIN FRAUD
"During August and September 2009, I met with Scott Rothstein three times at his office to discuss whether his investments were suitable for my investors. Each time, we met for between an hour and two. Rothstein refused to allow me to meet the attorneys in his firm or to see any actual settlement documents other than his 'confidential' business plan dated April 21, 2009. At no time did Rothstein suggest that this investment scheme involved structured settlements. In fact, he was very clear both verbally and in his business plan that these were not structured settlements since Florida has a law requiring court approval for any transfer of future structured settlement payments. It is possible that Rothstein told other potential investors something different but based on all my conversations with him, any linkage between Rothstein's alleged fraud and structured settlements is incorrect and unfair.
"Scott Rothstein called the agreements he was peddling 'Confidential settlements of sexual harassment cases and whistle blower cases. He never used the term 'structured settlements.'" Source: NSSTA website
Former US Attorney Kendall Coffey (left) , who represents Scott Rothstein's former law partners apparently mischaracterized the term "structured settlements" in pleading filed at the beginning of the month. The apparent mischaracterization by Coffey was unfortunately picked up by the local and national press necessitating a massive and ongoing blog, podcast and phone campaign blitz to defuse.
In a news article on November 16, 2009 AmLaw Daily journalist Brian Baxter reported that " Coffey explains that Rothstein sold structured settlements in sexual harassment and qui tam/whistleblower suits to investors, some of them hedge funds". "Rothstein promised people double their money back or something like a double-digit return in a finite timeframe," Coffey says. The finite time frame was under 6 months, returns impossible with legitimate structured settlements.
Indeed on November 8, 2009, Mr. Sakowitz appeared on WPLG-TV to discuss the Rothstein case with Kendall Coffey, attorney for Rothstein’s former law partners, and reporter Michael Putney. During the discussion, when attorney Coffey suggested that Rothstein was selling “structured settlements,” Sakowitz corrected him, noting that the legal settlements in question could not have been structured settlements.
How could a distinguished attorney like Coffey apparently make such a terrible mistake?
Alan Sakowitz is to be thanked in advance for helping to clarify the wrong against the structured settlement industry perpetrated and/or shepherded by Mr. Coffey's purported statements in the rush to protect his clients from the alleged actions of Rothstein. As I said in my criticism of various reporters in the past few weeks, a modicum of effort to research the issue by Coffey , Baxter and others would have shown that these were not structured settlements.