Scott Rothstein Computer Nerds Sentenced to 37 Months in Prison

Categories: Broward News
scott-w-rothstein.jpg
Scott Rothstein
Curtis Renie and William Corte, the information technology workers for Ponzi scheme mastermind Scott Rothstein's law firm, were each sentenced to 37 months in prison yesterday.

Renie and Corte, both 38 years old, pleaded guilty in June to a single count each of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and are the final two co-conspirators to be sentenced to prison in the current round of Rothstein-related indictments.

Howard Kusnick, a former lawyer at Scott Rothstein's now-defunct law firm, was sentenced at the beginning of the month to two years in prison, and Stephen Caputi, who posed as a TD Bank official during meetings with investors, was sentenced in late August to five years in prison -- the maximum sentence for the wire fraud conspiracy charge.

According to the U.S. Attorney's Office, Renie and Corte -- the so-called "computer experts" -- were an integral part of Rothstein's scheme.

Rothstein offered $5,000 each to Renie and Corte for copying the website of TD Bank to a computer at his law firm in an attempt to be able to confirm that funds from investors were being held in trust accounts.

Once this was done, investors could view the website -- which looked nearly identical to TD Bank's -- from inside the law firm, allowing investors to view the information in their fake accounts.

For much of 2009, Rothstein would give Renie and Corte a copy of bank account information with balances written next to the printed balances and ask them to update the fake website with the new balances.

At least three investors came in and looked at the fake website, which would falsely show that the law firm had $300 million to $1.1 billion deposited at TD Bank.

Relying on this fake website, these investors put $35 million of their own money into Rothstein's scheme.

After being discovered, Renie deleted the fake TD Bank website and also deleted all of his emails he could find relating to the fake site.

Corte and Renie are also ordered to serve three years of supervised release after getting out of prison and join the rest of the Rothstein Ponzi cons in paying off the $62,388,521.35 in restitution.

Now, the next move in the Rothstein case is a new round of indictments, which is likely to be announced in December.

A bankruptcy deposition involving Rothstein scheduled to happen over the summer was delayed by 180 days -- until December 12 -- over fears from prosecutors that the deposition could tip off those about to be indicted, and "corroborating evidence could be concealed, altered or destroyed."

"Rothstein's deposition would provide a detailed explanation of the criminal activities of co-conspirators," federal prosecutors said in June court filings. "Such information would alert targets of the investigation as to the specifics concerning their potential criminal liability and would potentially reveal to them the identities of other witnesses against them."

Among the crimes they're looking into charging Rothstein's cohorts with are mail fraud, wire fraud, campaign finance fraud, tax fraud, extortion, payments of unlawful gratuities, bank fraud, and money laundering.
 
"It is anticipated that an additional multi-defendant indictment will be forthcoming," the prosecutors wrote in a previous court filing. "It is difficult to predict with exactitude when the proposed indictment will be returned, but such indictment is anticipated within the next six months."

Prosecutors say they're analyzing 850,000 emails from the Rothstein Rosenfeldt Adler law firm, and Rothstein -- "the main repository of information," the U.S. Attorney's Office says -- has been talking to the feds since November 2009.

That deposition will also not be videotaped, as was previously planned, after a judge ruled that government lawyers had "shown good cause and specifically identified a serious harm" in arguing against the videotaping of Rothstein. The filing explaining why the government doesn't want Rothstein videotaped is sealed, but the judge's ruling says it's due to reasons that are "unusual in nature."


Follow The Pulp on Facebook and on Twitter: @ThePulpBPB. Follow Matthew Hendley on Facebook and on Twitter: @MatthewHendley.

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9 comments
legal Guy
legal Guy

lets see, the 2 computer geeks got 5 grand for faking a website, and got 37 months in prison.

but the masterminds and profiteers got a lot more money, and less time in the slammer.

it was wrong for them to do this, but they more punishable than the partners?

 

TheSenator1
TheSenator1

I have peeked into the future and the future says north of 20 Rothstein pals/employees are going to be facing prison sentences, fines and the media shame as they pay for their greed and arrogance.  And the Florida Bar turns its head while the ones with law licenses are still out there grabbing whatever they can.  And once they're tried and punished, JSkool, then no one will care (about them) anymore.

GreedKills
GreedKills

"as if anyone cares anymore".....it might just be you that cares when the next smooth talking dirt bag with a law license schmoozes his way into your life and empty's your bank account

 2 more greedy dirt bags taken off the street.....I can't wait until they get to the big fish (hint can you say Partners).....

Also, Scott the day of atonement is just around the corner, good chance for you and your cohorts to bare your soul and stare into that mirror (or tin can) they give you in your cell

Fat Hand
Fat Hand

Agree with Obermann, disagree with JSkool101. This was like the biggest Broward County news story since we learned how to vote. I look back at those first weeks when the story broke as the salad days on Las Olas, damn it was fun. Indictments bring me back to those simpler times, when the only media that really mattered was Bob Norman.

Obermann
Obermann

Wrong, JSkool, everyone cares about this gang of arrogant, corrupt, souless people who bragged and bullied their way through Broward County like they owned the place because they rubbed shoulders with Rothstein.  They were very dangerous and it Rothstein hadn't imploded they would have owned all of your elected officials.  Remember Rothstein and Ritter thought they were going to Washington, D.C. at one point.  Can you imagine that?  Not one of our law enforcement crew worked to bust Rothstein.  He owned them all, FDLE, BSO, Politicians.  They carried his bags, kissed his ass, took Ponzi money from him.  Judges, lawyers, powerbrokers, politicians...they all watched him steal and didn't lift one finger to bring him to justice.  That is terrible. Right before the arrest, he sponsored Stacy Ritter's Mayor's Ball, with OPM.  He'd still be walking tall if he - himself -- didn't self-destruct.  All his cohorts would have taken over even more of this town.  And we can never forget that several people lost their lives over this greedy bastard and his lawyer buddies.  They were reckless with other people's lives and they ran roughshod in their attempt to grab power and money.  I hope several more pay the price for their crimes.

JSkool101
JSkool101

First, as if anyone cares any more.

 L'shanah tovah tikatev v'taihatem, y'all.

Bubba The Wise
Bubba The Wise

You are correct. The Florida BAR is one of the hidden culprits in this mess. Where are their actions to protect the public as opposed to protecting their own guilty members. It is necessary, in all organizations, to take a look at why the organization exists and is the organization fulfilling its stated objectives. The BAR is a disgrace. The SAO is a disgrace. The Feds do the heavy lifting and the BAR hides its own offenders. The SAO protects the politicians, lobbyists and the high rolling donors.

Virgil Starkwell
Virgil Starkwell

I know a few people who care very much and have devoted the last 2 years of their lives to uncovering this crime. Wait till you see the next round of arrests.

L'shanah tovah, Shlimeel and Shlimazel.

IrvingFeiner
IrvingFeiner

L'shanah tovah, JSkool and L'shanah tovah to Macher Menscheleleh, III, wherever he may be

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