The defunct law firm of alleged Ponzi scheme mastermind Scott Rothstein made millions of dollars in loans or advances to employees – some of which appear to be still owing, according to new court documents filed by the bankruptcy trustee.
The Rothstein Rosenfeldt Adler firm has more than $1.4 billion in liabilities and just $42.9 million in assets, according to the filings which reflect the most accurate snapshot of the firm's finances so far.
The court documents list more than $34.8 million in loans and debts owed by individuals and other parties going back to 2005. Close to $11 million of those debts were repaid but there's still $23.9 million due, the court records show.
Herbert Stettin, the court-appointed bankruptcy trustee, has repeatedly warned the court that the RRA firm's books are in "disarray" but noted in the filings that these figures are based on his team's review of the available records.
Rothstein's attorney, Marc Nurik, said the loan figures attributed to him "are wrong." "I don't know where they're coming up with their numbers from." He said he couldn't give a ballpark figure for how much he borrowed from the firm but said it is "substantially less than that."
"As far as the others [former firm employees] are concerned, I'd suggest their [the bankruptcy attorneys] numbers are off as well," Nurik said.
Included on the list of people and other parties who are reported to have received loans or advances:
Attorney Steven Lippman who reportedly received $8.96 million and repaid more than $6.5 million, but still owes $2.4 million.
Former RRA co-owner, Stuart Rosenfeldt, who reportedly received $916,000 and repaid more than half of that, leaving a balance of $441,867.
Former RRA name partner, Russell Adler, who reportedly received $700,000 and still owes $655,000. His attorney, Fred Haddad, said Adler received a mortgage on a Manhattan apartment from Rothstein and is in the process of refinancing it so he can repay the money. "It was all totally above board," Haddad said.
Albert Peter, the former CEO of Silversea Cruises, received close to $3.7 million and still owes about $3.6 million, the records indicate.
Fort Lauderale night club owner, Mike Kent, who also sold a Rhode Island mansion to Rothstein, received $2.4 million and still owes close to $1.7 million.
Marc Nurik, an attorney who worked for the firm and now represents Rothstein in the criminal case against him, reportedly borrowed $190,000 and still owes that amount.
Also listed were close to $2 million in loans or advances to the Bova restaurants, all of which appear to be still due.
Scores of former RRA staffers are still owed wages too, according to the listings.
Paula McMahon can be reached at pmcmahon@SunSentinel.com or 954-356-4533.