275: Richard Stout – Billion Dollar Ponzi Schemer Scott Rothstein

In this episode, retired agent Richard Stout and investigative journalist Bob Norman review the case against Scott Rothstein, who convinced hundreds of wealthy investors to pay millions of dollars for fake legal settlements in the fourth largest Ponzi scheme in US history.

In addition to economic fraud, the case also covered other illegal activities, including bank fraud, public corruption, organized crime, illegal campaign contributions, and pay-to-play politics. The case resulted in the arrest and prosecution of 30 individuals. Stout and Norman are working together on A Great Fall, their upcoming true crime book and series about Ponzi schemer Scott Rothstein.

Special Agent (Retired)

Richard Stout

10/1997  – 4/2019






“It’s a case of greed running amok. This guy’s fall went from flamboyant attorney, to FBI cooperator, to criminal informant, and the implosion of a $2 billion Ponzi scheme.”—Retired Agent Richard Stout

Richard Stout served in the FBI for 22 years and specialized in public corruption cases in the FBI Miami Division office.

He created the South Florida Public Corruption Task Force and directed multiple complex investigations in that role. As an FBI SWAT team member, he was deployed around the world and while assigned to the counter-terrorism program, served overseas in the effort against ISIS. Stout spent the later part of his career as a tech agent. He is currently the CEO and Managing Director for Stout Security Consultants, a physical and information security risk-management company specializing in the detection of technical surveillance devices/hazards.

Bob Norman is freelance journalist serving as news director for the Florida Center for Government Accountability.

He’s also a contributing writer for Columbia Journalism Review, Miami New Times, and the Washingtonian. His work has led to the indictments of several corrupt politicians and the removal of bad-acting judges from the bench. Norman has won dozens of journalism awards, including the Livingston Award for national reporting, and was featured in several documentary films and television shows, Frontline, American Greed, CNN, and Investigation Discovery among them.

The following are links to new articles about Scott Rothstein and his $2 billion Ponzi scheme:

CNBC American Greed (VIDEO) – Episode 42: $1.2 Billion Scam: Ft. Frauderdale 

Business Insider – 1/2012: 10 brilliant business insights from Ponzi schemer Scott Rothstein 

Business Insider – 11/2009: Scott Rothstein Kept Personal Stripper At The Ritz-Carlton In Ft. Lauderdale

ABCNews – 6/2010: Scott Rothstein Gets 50 Years In $1.2 Billion Ponzi Scheme

Sun Sentinel – 2/2018: Ponzi schemer Scott Rothstein reveals new details of undercover work in fight with feds

Forbes – 10/2014: On Fifth Anniversary Of Rothstein’s $1.2 Billion Ponzi Scheme, Questions Remain

To learn more about Rothstein’s cooperation with the FBI to reduce his exposure, listen to this episode:

311: Jerry Hester – Mafia Miami, Operation Paesan Blues

Click here to listen to other FBI Retired Case File Review Ponzi scheme and fraud case reviews.

Rothstein’s watch collection included a Rolex Daytona watch with a leopard-print band and a gem-studded face made with 18-carat gold, a women’s Rolex, covered with diamonds on every surface, that retailed for $109,000, and a Zenith Zero-G Tourbillon men’s watch cost about $550,000.
Rothstein and Rich Stout decompressing after a day of undercover meetings, November 2009.
Journalist Bob Norman and Rothstein’s attorney, Marc Nurik, after Rothstein’s appearance in federal court.

























Jerri Williams

View posts by Jerri Williams
Jerri Williams, a retired FBI agent, author and podcaster, jokes that she writes about the FBI to relive her glory days. After 26 years with the Bureau specializing in major economic fraud and corruption investigations, she calls on her professional encounters with scams and schemers to write police procedurals inspired by true crime FBI cases in her Philadelphia FBI Corruption Squad crime fiction series featuring flawed female FBI agent Kari Wheeler. Jerri’s FBI for Armchair Detectives nonfiction series enables readers to discover who the FBI is and what the FBI does by debunking misconceptions about the FBI in books, TV, and movies. Her books are available as ebooks, paperbacks, and audiobooks wherever books are sold. She’s also the host of FBI Retired Case File Review, a true crime podcast with more than 300 episodes available on all popular podcast apps and YouTube.


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