Advertisement

Rothstein vs. Rothstein: Divorce postponed, for now

Kim Rothstein will have to wait a little longer to finally be rid of her Ponzi schemer husband and his last name. The infamous couple's no-fault divorce which was expected to be finalized Monday morning at a brief court hearing in Broward Circuit Court was postponed.

Kim Rothstein will have to wait a little longer to finally be rid of her Ponzi schemer husband — and the "Mrs. Scott Rothstein" moniker.

The infamous couple's no-fault divorce, which was expected to be finalized Monday morning at a brief court hearing in Broward Circuit Court, was temporarily postponed.

Advertisement

The lovebirds-turned-jailbirds couldn't attend because they are both locked up in the federal slammer.

But Kim Rothstein, 40, had permission to phone in and testify from the medium-security prison in Central Florida where she's serving a 15-month sentence for hiding jewelry from the feds.

Advertisement

Kim Rothstein was on the line, but because nobody was on hand in the prison to put her under oath, the hearing was halted.

Under Florida law, one of the parties has to confirm under oath that the marriage is "irretrievably broken" and that duty is falling to Kim, said her lawyer, Jamie Morris.

Kim's soon-to-be ex-husband has not contested her efforts to kick him to the curb and the disbarred lawyer didn't even send an attorney to represent him in the civil proceedings.

Kim Rothstein's hopes to shed the Rothstein name and reclaim her maiden name of "Wendell," however, won't happen as quickly as she'd hoped.

Advertisement

"I'm not restoring her maiden name," Circuit Judge Merrilee Ehrlich said Monday morning. "She has a felony conviction, that's a basis for not restoring."

Kim Rothstein's attorney, Jamie Morris, said she would research that issue further.

After the New Year, Kim Rothstein will be released from a federal prison near Orlando into the custody of a halfway house, another of her attorneys, David Kotler, said.

"She'll be in a halfway house for a very short period of time and then we'll transition to house arrest to serve out the remainder of her sentence," Kotler said.

Kim Rothstein is scheduled for release March 1. Kotler declined to say where she will serve house arrest.

The formerly extravagant couple was known for their love of designer clothes, expensive bling, flashy cars and gaudy mansions. But federal prosecutors and bankruptcy proceedings have left them broke, with zero assets to divide.

Ehrlich said she would grant sole ownership of a 2008 Cadillac, currently parked at Morris' law office, to Kim Rothstein.

Scott Rothstein, 52, has served the first five years of his 50-year punishment imposed for masterminding one of the biggest Ponzi schemes in Florida history. He cooperated against organized crime figures and is being held at an undisclosed location because he is in the U.S. Bureau of Prisons' top-secret witness protection system.

Advertisement

Though they wed in an opulent ceremony in January 2008 at the South Beach mansion formerly owned by late designer Gianni Versace, the couple spent most of their marriage apart, after Scott Rothstein fled to Morocco in late October 2009 and was taken into custody soon after.

pmcmahon@tribune.com, 954-356-4533 or Twitter @SentinelPaula

Advertisement
Advertisement