Talk of the Town: Scott Rothstein (UPDATED)

OK, everybody's talking about attorney Scott Rothstein today. Phones are lighting up among politicians and power brokers, and rumors are flying.

Rothstein, at right, poses with his wife and a friend.

Here's some information from sources:

1. There is a huge amount of money missing from investors. I have heard a specific figure but am waiting for another source before reporting.  

2. Rothstein is reportedly in Morocco. His wife didn't travel with him.

3. The law firm Rothstein Rosenfeldt Adler is toast. It will be disbanded. I hear Rothstein lawyer Les Stracher is already looking for work. No word on Steven Abrams, the Rothstein lawyer, former Boca Raton mayor, and current Palm Beach County commissioner (appointed to the seat by Rothstein's friend, Gov. Charlie Crist). Or former homicide prosecutor Howard Scheinberg, another Rothstein hire. Or former Palm Beach County Circuit Judge William Berger. Or former Broward Circuit Judge Pedro Dijols. Or former South Broward Hospital District Chairman Carlos Reyes. Or about 70 other Rothstein attorneys. To see the Rothstein client list, click here.

I got Rothstein on the phone this morning, but we had a bad connection, and he said he couldn't hear me. He called me back, but the connection was still bad.  

One of Rothstein's signature restaurants, Bova Ristorante in Boca Raton, suddenly shut down on October 18. Bova Prime on Las Olas has remained open.  

I called Grant Smith, a lobbyist who works at the Rothstein Rosenfeldt Adler firm, today. "As a firm, we have no comment on this," he told me. "I am not prepared to comment. When the time is appropriate, we will comment."

​Rothstein burst to prominence during the past few years and has been spending millions of dollars on

property (including the Versace mansion) and politics. He hired former Sheriff Ken Jenne after Jenne was released from prison and is close with state Rep. Evan Jenne (who works as a consultant for a company co-owned by Rothstein). He also hired infamous political consultant Roger Stone and heavily backed Sheriff Al Lamberti. Rothstein has also been paying the Fort Lauderdale Police Department as much as a thousand dollars a day to provide security for him and his family.

He has contributed hundreds of thousands of dollars to the state Republican Party and counts Gov. Charlie Crist as a friend. Rothstein was recently named Philanthropist of the Year by the Association for Fundraising Professionals after giving large amounts of money to the Dan Marino Foundation and Holy Cross Hospital, among other charities. 

Just for background, check out this story. And for kicks, here's the Jewish Avenger piece.

I'm on this and will update with any pertinent information.

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