|Rothstein executed a classic 419 scam|
in today's Miami Herald
about the method Scott Rothstein used to bilk his pal Ed Morse out of millions sounds like it came straight out of some Nigerian scammer's playbook
. 419 fraud, also known as "advance fee" fraud, requires that victims wire money in advance to obtain a large cash payout that never arrives. Usually the original contact arrives in the form of an email from a widowed princess from Benin or a phony barrister in Ivory Coast with an inheritance to disperse.
That's about the only difference from the way Rothstein set up Morse. Rothstein was a real lawyer, apparently, instead of just some guy posing as one. But otherwise, the game was identical. Rothstein invented a $23 million court settlement, forged federal court documents, and promised Morse access to a phony bank account in the Cayman Islands. All Morse had to do to get his hands on the money was -- guess what? Pay an advance fee.
|If only we could bait him.|
According to the Herald
To confiscate the money, the Fort Lauderdale lawyer allegedly told the Morses they had to post a bond 2 ½ times larger than the judgment, or $57 million, the sources said. The large amount was required as a guarantee in case bank officials confiscated the judgment from the wrong account, Rothstein told them.
The $57 million the Morses wired to Rothstein must be the biggest advance fee dupe in history. Maybe Rothstein can set up a business in the clinker offering correspondence courses for budding African fraudsters.