Feds: Club Man Caputi Posed As Rothstein Banker, Plaintiff In Ponzi Scheme

27 May

The U.S. Attorney’s Office has issued a press release providing some details of the case against four former associates of Scott Rothstein — and they help explain how how the disbarred lawyer was able to pull off his billion-dollar Ponzi scheme.

He did it with a little help from his friend — and employees.

The most explosive revelation: Former Cafe Iguana owner Stephen Caputi, 53, assisted Rothstein in his Ponzi scheme by posing as both a banker and a plaintiff in Rothstein’s structured settlement scam to help dupe investors into believing the scam was legitimate. From the release:

Caputi the chameleon

The Information against Stephen Caputi alleges that Caputi at times acted as both a purported banker and plaintiff during meetings with potential investors. For example, the Information alleges that Caputi, posing as an official from TD Bank, provided investors with fraudulent bank statements that reflected purported balances of trust accounts at TD Bank. In this way, Caputi lulled the investors into believing that the account balances were sufficient to fund their investments. On another occasion, Caputi posed as a plaintiff during a meeting with potential investors who had requested to meet with plaintiffs. Caputi pretended to be a plaintiff who had purportedly executed a $10,000,000 settlement agreement, thus raising potential investors’ confidence in the deal.

Ted Morse, left, Rothstein and Dan Marino before the implosion

Now get this: Caputi and Rothstein met with investors at a TD Ameritrade branch in Weston. Apparently bank officials allowed Rothstein to use a conference room inside the bank. There’s no indication that those officials knew Caputi was posing as one their own, but the setting must have done wonders for Caputi’s credibility.

was a partner with Caputi in the Cafe Iguana nightclub, which was seized by the feds and is now on the sales block (minimum bid: $1.4 million). Caputi also traveled to Morocco to meet with Rothstein after the Ponzi schemer fled the country in October 2009. Rothstein wired $1 million in Caputi’s name to a Moroccan bank as well. Caputi, along with fellow arrestee William Corte, are now free on bond of $100,000 apiece.

Former Rothstein law partner Howard Kusnick, who is expected to surrender next week, is alleged to have duped two RRA clients by claiming they had won a settlement in their case when in fact there was no settlement and their money had already been used to pay off previous investors in the Ponzi scheme. While the press release doesn’t mention the clients’ names, the charges are believed to related to prominent car dealer Ed Morse, who was allegedly duped out of $57 million of dollars by Rothstein in an elaborate lawsuit scam. At the time, Rothstein was supposedly best friends with Ed Morse’s son, Ted Morse.

To read more about 58-year-old Kusnick’s involvement with Rothstein, click here.

And finally we have the two IT guys at RRA, Curtis Renie and William Corte, who are alleged to have helped Rothstein pull off the billion-dollar Ponzi by fabricating a TD Ameritrade website Rothstein showed to investors to dupe them into believing the money was in the bank. How much money?

1.1 billion dollars.

“On one occasion, the defendants modified the phony TD Bank web site to reflect that RRA held between $300 million and $1.1 billion on deposit at TD Bank,” prosecutors wrote in the press release. “In fact, however, no such funds were in the accounts. The false account balances were shown to investors to induce them to invest into the fraudulent investment scheme.”

Both Caputi and Corte surrendered to marshals this morning and are expected to have their first appearance in court at 11 a.m. Kusnick and Renie are sheduled to surrender next week. All four are cooperating with federal authorities and are expected to plead guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud charges. This is expected to be just the first wave of arrests after the sentencing of Rothstein, who was hit with 50 years in prison, and his right-hand woman Debra Villegas, who was sentenced to ten years in prison for her involvement.

“The FBI will continue to unravel the remaining web of fraudulent schemes created by Scott Rothstein.  One thing is clear, Rothstein was able to deceive investors because of the participation by others,” Miami FBI chief John V. Gillies said in the press release. “We will shine a light on every aspect of this fraud.  Like Rothstein, those who chose greed over integrity will also have a price to pay.”

More coming.


22 Responses to “Feds: Club Man Caputi Posed As Rothstein Banker, Plaintiff In Ponzi Scheme”

  1. Death Frog 3 May 27, 2011 at 10:47 am #


    • nucky thompson May 27, 2011 at 3:40 pm #

      Any arrests today ?

  2. Judge Roy Bean May 27, 2011 at 10:51 am #

    Is Debbie still slated to start serving her time in June? Oh I forgot First?

  3. Parkland man May 27, 2011 at 10:57 am #

    How sweet it is to see more dirt bag lawyers going down,lets hope it really snow balls soon and they all go down,just in case you don’t know parkland man hates lawyers.lol

    • Virgil Starkwell May 27, 2011 at 2:43 pm #

      I didn’t know you hate lawyers. lol Good to see you here.

      • Your Liver May 27, 2011 at 7:55 pm #

        Sarcasm please?!

        Why welcome this disease? Let him go get his shinebox. I’m ready for him this time.

    • FamilyBlackSheep June 4, 2011 at 4:18 am #

      Agree with all of that. read my posts, with my INSIDE INFO!

  4. It's Rick May 27, 2011 at 11:37 am #

    Let’s get to work on the rest of these sleazy, greedy, corrupt dirtbags. Rosenfeldt, Adler, Lippman, Boden, Szfranski, are they all headed to handcuffs? And how many bastards posing as “lawyers” are going to jail?

  5. Dead Norm Abromowitz May 27, 2011 at 11:49 am #

    I don’t think this is fair or right. None of those involved had any idea what they were doing or involvement. I have seen this happen before…fat,middle-aged guys start wearing “Ed Hardy tee shirts and baggy,jeans with converse sneakers” it is a serious medical condition known as “douchebaggism”. Douchebaggism has been a plague on South Florida, California and New York, other states have seen signs of douchebaggism but that is even more severe strain of the disease,known as “whatdahellyouthinkingwearingthatshit”. The disease is dangerous, causes the patient to “act as if they enjoy cigars,martinis and are desireable to women age 25”, the only way to stop the speard of dis horrible, debilitationg disease is for the patient to recieve a kick in the nut sack. It appears to be the only thing that works…that and being someones bitch in da joint. Oh, the disease effects women as well and I will give you the warning signs later……see you and a big AMF from your pal, Norm

    • DNA Fan May 27, 2011 at 12:46 pm #

      Comedy gold,DNA. Comedy. Gold.

      • FamilyBlackSheep June 4, 2011 at 4:19 am #

        I see a movie in the can soon! Money is to be made and if anyone wants to invest in the script, I am writing an outline (free country) and have the best inside info for a layman. Just you wait and see. That is, if they turn it into a movie, in which case i do my artwork again.

  6. Snot Rothstein May 27, 2011 at 12:25 pm #

    Did you think you were gonna skip ol’buddy? Come on in, besides doing time is in your italian DNA for christ sake. If Debbie got ten expect that prick zlock to give you 20. So man up and take your best plea. Do some substantial assistance be out in 10. It might be tough for you to get into Club Fed because its for Chabad members only. But try anyways. The place ain’t bad the only thing missing are the chicks. But we have a blond wig and every week one of the guys takes turns wearing it and we pretend. Anyways see you soon.


  7. Snot Rothstein May 27, 2011 at 12:26 pm #

    Could someone reach out to Nucky Thompson I miss his sacastic wit.

  8. FauxChiefFranklinAdderley May 27, 2011 at 12:42 pm #

    I have been cleared of all allegations associated with matter, Thank you Mayor John P. “Jackoff” Seiler and my brother in blue Commissioner Bruce G. Roberts and my friends at Office of Professional Standards. All thug Fort Lauderdale Police Officers that were part of the Bodyguard Posse have been cleared by Capt Rick Maglione Internal Affairs, even though they were paid with stolen cash money. I have been assured by my friends in federal law enforcement that we will never be indicated.

    • FamilyBlackSheep June 4, 2011 at 4:12 am #

      Bravo Bravo FAUXCHIEFFRANKLINADDEREY, not you may need Adderal for your brain to stop spinning. Just kidding, but seriously, when do we see the screenplay like the police guy who ended up making bucks from OJ Simpson’s mess. Mark Furhman! OMG, OY OY OY! I can see it now LIGHT’S CAMERA ACTION: “CAPUTI, OH CAPUTI”… “Ummmmm, God Bless you, did you sneeze?” “No,” says the off centered police money grabber ” I just thought you mean… Oh just forget it, let’s sweep it under the rug now the that BIG 4 gave up for leaner sentences and mouth spilling informant stuff! All I can say, is, “when is the movie coming out!”

  9. Anonomyte May 27, 2011 at 3:16 pm #

    And which of our friendly posters was doubting Bob’s info earlier this week? You were so right on the money Bob.

    • FamilyBlackSheep June 4, 2011 at 4:08 am #

      I NEVER doubted Bob’s column or info for one second Anonomeyte! In fact, I kept asking my relatives about this and they said, “Oh he’s fine, Steve Caputi and the rest have left Gilligan’s Island and were even having a round of golf and drinks to celebrate being off the hook,” but the hook is even worst than the movie of that title starring Robin Williams about Peter Pan…OY VEY, where are the Kabbalah guys when you need them, OY OY OY!

  10. irvingfeiner May 31, 2011 at 7:56 pm #

    Is that really Dan Marino in the pic or did Corte just photoshop him into the pic?

    Dead Norm, can you have Herb get back to us on this?


    • FamilyBlackSheep June 4, 2011 at 4:06 am #

      YES, it’s really him dude. it’s really coming out like juice from a rotten fruit. Sorry to say it is !!!! Any other questions?

  11. FamilyBlackSheep June 4, 2011 at 4:04 am #

    STEVE CAPUTI is finally getting closer to some sort of twisted justice. He always came off to me as a lucky charm, not the captain, but one of those little charms like the green marshmellow so I guess I feel better now that he turned himself him. I pray for Steve Caputi even though he has been very mean to me in the past and believed that I wronged him. He writes and speaks a great game, but in the end if you are bad, you will fall and pay no matter if that means 10 years or even 20 years later. I am no angel, far from it, but I know Caputi hates how I am doing it, and never said he was a dump gentleman. In fact, I used to hold a small crush on Steve Caputi up until after 9/11 when we wrote to each other but he set me up thinking I set him for someone else to see those letters, which i still have to this day. Steve Caputi writes well! I will pray now for Steve Caputi.

  12. FamilyBlackSheep June 4, 2011 at 4:16 am #

    OMG I just got an email from Steve Caputi and afraid to open it! He must see my posts starting to blog a bit, or spread. Yes, i can make that happen easy, I just don’t make any money off of it any longer due to health problems, so I just watch it bloom without adding anything and so must caputi. Should I just post his email for all to see? I have not opened it. It’s in holding pattern, but my mood has been so up, that I forgot I may get a sneering letter from Steven Caputi or his relatives or ex. Well, I have but will not open it… WHO SAYS I SHOULD OPEN IT, help me. I’ll forward to anyone who will be kind enough to blacken out the bad parts and tell me if it’s okay to come out of hiding! I’m not joking around and will await to hear from someone about Steve Caputi writing me an email but me not opening it for fear of the contents, and I tent to get carried away so please tell me what do do….Thanks

  13. FamilyBlackSheep August 12, 2011 at 9:35 am #

    Somehow, someone out there in net land is playing a horrid joke on me. I finally opened Steve Caputi’s email but it was an ad for drugs in Canada. Somehow my email has been sold and bought and sold and bought due to my postings on Steve Caputi. As I said, you do something bad, it catches up with you, and what I am doing, all these posts, is not the greatest for my karma, but I have known Steve Caputi for so many years that now that he is out in this crime forefront I am a bit over the top in wanting to spill the beans on the embarrassing facts behind the legend once known as Steve Caputi. Promised some that I’d not spill any beans or secrets or the family of Caputi, and I shall keep the promise. But as long as I can post and not let on, I’m fine, i guess. Maybe I will find out, as Caputi has, 20 years from now. Good luck, the 24th is approaching.

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