Just two days away from a trial that could have jeopardized its existence, Gibraltar Private Bank & Trust Co. reached a settlement late Tuesday in the largest lawsuit filed by investors of Ponzi schemer Scott Rothstein.
Gibraltar agreed to pay $10 million to a group of 55 Rothstein investors known as the "Razorback Group." In addition, the investors will be entitled to a share of funds that could be collected in an insurance claim.
Gibraltar, which has its headquarters in Coral Gables, was the last defendant standing in the massive lawsuit filed on behalf of investors who claimed losses of more than $180 million in Rothstein's $1.4 billion Ponzi scheme. While there were once 29 defendants in the Broward Circuit Court case, the litigation focused on Rothstein's relationships with Gibraltar and TD Bank.
The investors' legal team, led by Fort Lauderdale attorney William Scherer, alleged the two banks allowed Rothstein's fraud to flourish. Rothstein boasted in a recent deposition he had bankers "in my pocket."
TD Bank settled last week with the Razorback Group, but the terms have not been publicly disclosed. Published reports have put the TD Bank settlement at $170 million.
Gibraltar's attorneys had argued in court that the bank would not be able to survive a hefty verdict.
Scherer vowed Tuesday that more lawsuits will be coming against those he believes aided the now-disbarred attorney in pulling off his crimes. Rothstein, 49, is serving a 50-year prison sentence.
"The past 2 1/2 years [of litigation] have been a hell of a ride, but we're not done yet," Scherer said. "There are a lot more defendants we're going after."
firstname.lastname@example.org, 954-356-4491 or Twitter @jkburstein