He Still Has His Yacht, Right?

Lobbyist Russ Klenet better hope things are going well in D.C., because the situation on the home front has deteriorated rapidly.

Thumbnail image for klenetyacht3.jpg
The yacht, "Symphony," owned by Klenet and Ginsburg
Last night, the Sunrise Commission voted him right out of his $60,000-ish contract with the city. It was one of his plum jobs and, perhaps more important, the relationship with Sunrise was surely the decisive factor (along with his wife's occupation) in the Florida Panthers decision to hire him as one of its lobbyists as well.

With the knockdown the Sunrise leaders gave him last night, you have to wonder what worth Klenet can bring now to Sunrise Sports and Entertainment, which owns the Panthers and pays him $80,000 to $120,000 a year for his services.

The Broward League of Cities unceremoniously ejected Klenet from his longstanding job with that group in December. He's not even making a dime in his own backyard of Parkland anymore. That contract ran out.  

And the poor guy can't even eat a five-star meal with a fine wine on his wife's County Commission campaign these days to help forget his troubles.

But things could be worse. Klenet has left behind a trail of bodies in his wake. His two biggest money clients, men who were also his friends, aren't doing nearly as well as he is these days. One of them is under house arrest on federal fraud charges, and the other is in bankruptcy.

That would be fraudster Joel Steinger and medical lab owner Mark Ginsburg. Steinger paid Klenet $20,000 a month for

his work, including Klenet's efforts to keep state regulators off his back in Tallahassee while the con man was ripping off retired couples of their nest eggs with his Mutual Benefits scam.

His wife, then state Rep. Stacy Ritter, voted for her husband's Steinger-helping legislation. Steinger finally got indicted for fraud and is waiting comfortably in his Fort Lauderdale mansion for the trial -- which might just happen this year if the feds decide to earn their pay. How Steinger can still afford a mansion is what his victims want to know. 

rittermutebutton.jpg
Ritter says she kept Klenet's lobbying separate.
As for Ginsburg, Klenet helped with state legislation, again voted on by his wife, Ritter, to put his dialysis business on top. Early last year, Ginsburg filed for bankruptcy, listing $16.6 million in assets, which sounds pretty good except for the debt, which was close to $48 million.

Klenet and Ginsburg got along so well that they bought a yacht together, which they conveniently kept at Steinger's mansion. Steinger and Ginsberg also were both deeply involved with eye doctor Alan Mendelsohn, another political operator who in December pleaded guilty to a fraud conspiracy charge in a Klenet-related corruption case before esteemed U.S. District Judge James Cohn.

All this federal activity around his associates. Look, we know that Klenet cooperated with the feds -- sources have confirmed that; the only question is to what extent. And if the feds aren't in play, will he survive state prosecutors, who sources say have been digging deep into his business and the aforementioned Ritter campaign? 

Klenet has so far avoided his friends' fates, but more important, you wonder: Is he still sailing? The answer appears to be yes. Klenet and Ginsburg put the boat's ownership in a corporation they called Cotinga, which is still active. And Ginsburg is still paying on the loan, according to his filings in the bankruptcy. Here's an itemization of some of his expenses he submitted:

ginsburgcotinga1.jpg
So it's three grand a month for his half, assuming both men are paying it (hey, it was Mendelsohn who told Cohn in federal court that he learned about hiding payments from clients in the form of gifts).

What's most interesting about that document, to me, is that a guy $30 million in debt still has a maid, a personal fitness trainer, a gardener, spends hundreds of dollars to have vehicles cleaned, and budgets $10,000 a month in household expenses.

Well, like they say, one man's bankruptcy is another man's boom. But that's what makes Florida both great and awful, the booms and the busts. After making a fortune with his wife in politics, Klenet seems to be looking at the latter, unless, of course, his D.C. strategy, his flight to the federal government side of things, pays off in the end. 

 

 

 



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46 comments
non partisan
non partisan

Thru political influence, there is no boundaries to the money...

Tighetass
Tighetass

Hang them all....from the highest yardarms of their yachts.

P_Nis
P_Nis

Pulp, I thought they had a Sea Ray? The boat pictured is a Fairline Squadron.

SuchCrap
SuchCrap

Boy, with all those expenses he sure is a 'clean' guy. Personal fitness trainer my ass.

Andrew
Andrew

Nationwide Laboroatry Services. Hundreds of dialysis clinics across the country depend on them for renal testing for kidney patients. Thanks Broward/Palm Beach New Times for alerting us to this story. The multi-billion dollar renal industry has no knowledge of this--it has not been reported!!! If Nationwide shuts its doors there will be a lot of surprised dialysis facilities that had no idea they were dealing with a lab in such bad shape. Unconscionable. There is a human cost to such flagrant irresponsibility and greed and whatever else you want to call Ginsburg and his ilk.

Virgil Starkwell
Virgil Starkwell

Sorry for going off-topic, but has anyone heard the public statement made by the Governor of Alabama?

Governor Bentley told a church crowd in Montgomery on Monday that anyone who isn't a Christian isn't his brother or sister. And he says he wants others to accept Christ so he can be their brother.

Can you believe that statement, from a Governor in the United States of America?

Busted
Busted

Who's is Jim Verillo listed in the spreadsheet @ 15k ?

unowho
unowho

That pic of Spacey Ritter ?...Has she had one to many?....Yooo donts know (hic) who yoos meshin wit (hic) Bobby Normun!!!

Christy
Christy

Can we get a picture of the fitness trainer? Is Angus Beef on the diet?

DeathFrog3
DeathFrog3

The days of the feds giving deals and "working up" are nearly over. Now what's happening is the top of the scheme is rolling and getting everybody charged. If you look at Madoff, Rothstein, The recent bank fraud case in Boca. Its the top guys rolling on underlings and co-conspirators.

gimmesamore
gimmesamore

Check out this case involving a South Florida IRS agent watching a female roomate, via wireless video surveillance. Creepy as hell. Civil Verdict for over $400,000. He walked on the criminal case becasue confession you see here was knocked out. Three guesses on this guy's criminal attorney....

http://www.wsvn.com/features/a...

unowho
unowho

Hey Virgie If the Panthers get wise and dump Russ, he would make a prime(rare) blobbyist for Angus Beef !!!

Guest
Guest

Pulp, hate to be a nit pick, but you sure that is Joel's house behind the boat? I thought Joel lived in a white stucco house. Perhaps it is the house of the late and not so great Les Steinger! All three of those criminal bothers got sweet houses on Las Olas waterways thanks to 20,000+ victims of MBC! Finally, I think it is the defense attorneys and the slow a$$ judge in Miami that is delaying the trial, not the feds. Cheers and I can't wait for RK and SK to get what they have coming to them!!

Best Damned Lookin' Politico
Best Damned Lookin' Politico

Let's be real, the story of the week is J---E---T---S and the TRUE genius of one T REX RYAN. Hey, Brett Rothelsberger in Pittsburgh, starting next sunday night, you can once again go around and hand around college bars and hit on college chicks with your posse.

but look out for 'dem Dolphins, they have Tony Field Goal Pump his Fist Sparano, to lead??(chuckle) them to mediocre land once again.....tee heeeeeeeeeeeee heeeeeeeeeeee....

Goldilocks
Goldilocks

Two things:

Question: What happened at the DEC meeting?

The not-for-profit newsletter and posting board just sent around an e-newletter posting for a City Attorney position in the City of Sunrise, FYI.

http://www.execsearches.com/no...

Virgil Starkwell
Virgil Starkwell

I have this funny feeling that angus beef will be replaced shortly by hamburger helper.

Dday25
Dday25

You missed an $5000 household expense - $15000 in one month on household expenses???

Anon33024
Anon33024

The way these people still get to keep the ill-gotten gains and are not completely driven out of town is what surprises me. Why isn't Steinger on the street, like many of his victims? Is this our court system at play?? I think so. The fourth musketeer in that group is Ken Keechl, and he's not tarred and feathered either, he's now "lobbying" for goverment. What a bunch! They all have to go.

unowho
unowho

Im on a roll today...... Kirstie Alley...Large and Lovely!!!

unowho
unowho

OOPS that was Ginsberg expences right ? My bad.... that was totally unintentional "Honest "Russ (you heard that word?)

unowho
unowho

Fitness trainer?...Fitness trainer?..Fitness trainer? LMFAO!!!....$560.00 could pay for a fantastic meal Russ what were you thinking???

therealyaz
therealyaz

Pulp, what proof is there that Russ was working with the feds? I don't recall any.

Christy
Christy

Great Picture, Pulp.

KennyPowersSays
KennyPowersSays

Can someone explain something to me? How is it that the slime balls, like Klenet, Rothstein et al can make plea deals, with the Feds to squeal on those up the food chain? Is it that those people, up the pyramid, are exponentially more slimey, or is this practice just a subterfuge/scam to cover for the anonymous "real bad guys" and the Feds are in on it? I am open to suggestions, because the result of these "deals" don't seem to make it back to us ignorant peasants.

BTW, maybe some of these names show up on that forthcoming Wikileaks Swiss Bank expose'.

Goldilocks
Goldilocks

... and he said it on Martin Luther King Day, which adds insult to injury.

anonymous (hic!)
anonymous (hic!)

Unlike Bob at the Young Democrats meeting a few months ago? LOL!!

Anon33024
Anon33024

The question you can ask after reading most statements: When?

unowho
unowho

OOPS!!! Another unintentional mistake ...".lobbyist" .....sorry!!!....OK no more fat jokes...promise!!!....But just wondering how does your name appear in the word ...trusst..???

Pulp
Pulp

Guest you know your stuff, sources are telling me that Klenet and Ginsburg also kept the yacht at Les Steinger's house and that matches the description.

Pulp
Pulp

Thanks Guest, you're right that Joel's house, while similar, appears to be white stucco. I'm hitting up sources to see if I can get to the bottom of it.

Virgil Starkwell
Virgil Starkwell

When I saw Ryan "sprint" down the sidelines, I thought for a second that they had built a Burger King in the endzone.

Most overused and misapplied word in the English language: Genuis.

Pulp
Pulp

Goldi, to answer your question -- nothing. Nothing happened at the DEC meeting. Fleischer didn't even get up. Same old same old. The Democratic Party in Broward is hopeless.

Goldilocks
Goldilocks

How about a photo of Ginsburg (and/or family members) to see if there really *is* an effective trainer, or if this is a slush fund (if you catch the GIRTH of my drift) ...

Still a guest
Still a guest

"I like it better with out the hamburger, don't you Clark?"

" You're the gormet around here Eddie!"

therealyaz
therealyaz

Those are Ginsburgs records not Russ. I would like see more of his though!

Pulp
Pulp

Don't misunderstand, I'm not saying that Klenet worked off a criminal charge or anything like that. I'm saying he was involved in the Mendelsohn case and the Steinger case and cooperated with the government. Might that have helped him? Possibly. We don't know the details.

Virgil Starkwell
Virgil Starkwell

Oy Vey! Oops. I guess that means I am not Governor Bentley's brother.

Anon33024
Anon33024

Hey Pulp! Just call Ken Keechl to confirm the house. He's there all the time. Corrupt bunch of criminals who all belong behind bars, not in swanky McMansions.

anonymous
anonymous

So then I assume you can't be sure it's Klenet's boat?

unowho
unowho

"sprint" that was funny ....waddle perhaps but he was the "better" coach Sunday,just like he predicted!!!P S... And its Jeanyus not Genuis ...duh!!!

unowho
unowho

I hear Russ doesnt like to be teased about his "overindulgence" ,,Just couldnt resist that one, but I am sure Russ has a Personal Dietician (Kirtie Alleys)

Anon33024
Anon33024

Name is boat was shortened. It should be Symphony of Corruption.

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