Aggressive representation needed to recover losses, protect assets, in the wake of Miami financial fraud charges

Former NFL player Warren Sapp is among those laying claim to the assets of Scott Rothstein, who has pleaded guilty to operating a $1.2 billion South Florida investment fraud scheme, the Associated Press reported.

Banks and tax collectors from Florida to Rhode Island are also among those seeking assets through a bankruptcy trustee in U.S. District Court. Rothstein’s estate is valued at more than $469 million. Hiring a Miami investment fraud attorney is critical to protecting your rights in the wake of a financial scam. As this case illustrates, there are frequently more claims than assets and an experienced attorney can help fight for your rights. Hiring a Miami defense attorney experienced in representing clients facing financial fraud charges is equally critical to protecting your rights in the wake of a fraud allegation.

Thus far, 46 separate claims have been filed in this case, a list that is expected to grow larger by the end of August. Rothstein’s assets include dozens of pieces of real estate, homes, business interests, luxury vehicles, yachts, jewelry and bank accounts.

But other entities are quickly filing claims that could prevent victims from liquidating the assets in an attempt to recover damages. Wachovia claims it owns a $2.75 million piece of commercial property in Pompano Beach and Rothstein’s former business partner says he owns a New York condominium.

Tax collectors in Miami-Dade, Palm Beach and Narragansett, Rhode Island, are also demanding taxes owed on numerous Rothstein properties. And NFL great Warren Sapp claims he is owed $102,000. An Assistant U.S. Attorney said the federal government will seek to have most of the claims dismissed.

Assets will be forfeited and sold to the U.S. government. An auction is scheduled to sell 10 luxury vehicles, including a Bugatti Veyron, worth nearly $2 million, and an 87-foot yacht.

As this case illustrates, seeking a recovery as the victim of financial fraud in South Florida requires an advocate to fight on your behalf. Despite a $500 million estate, it appears few victims will recoup their losses. Conversely, those accused of financial fraud need aggressive representation to protect assets that should not rightfully be considered part of a fraud claim.

Rothstein fled to Morocco after the fraud charges surfaced in October. He pleaded guilty in January to five felony charges in connection with a Ponzi scheme that offered bogus investments with the promise of double-digit returns. He faces 100 years in prison at his sentencing on June 9.