Federal authorities are seizing Fort Lauderdale attorney Scott Rothstein's properties -- sports cars, waterfront homes, power boats and bank accounts -- as part of a criminal investigation into his alleged multimillion-dollar investment scam.
Shortly before 10 a.m. Monday, two FBI agents, an IRS agent and two truck drivers were spotted in downtown Fort Lauderdale seizing Rothstein's fire engine red Ferrari Spider convertible.Authorities are able to obtain warrants to seize Rothstein's properties -- even before criminal charges are filed in federal court -- because they have evidence to support that the lawyer acquired those assets with ill-gotten gains from his alleged investment scam. The U.S. attorney's office is using the tool of a civil forfeiture action. Eventually, if Rothstein is indicted, prosecutors could transfer the inventory of his properties for criminal forfeiture.
Rothstein, who is staying at an undisclosed location under federal surveillance, has been accused by investors of stealing hundreds of millions of dollars and by his law partners of wiping out their firm.
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Feds Seize Embattled Lawyer Scott Rothstein's Property
Lawyer Facing Federal Fraud