Prosecutors: Give Kim Rothstein A Break

, Daily Business Review

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Kim Rothstein

Kim Rothstein deserves a break at her sentencing next week for helping investigators after hiding up to $1 million in jewelry and other assets purchased with money from her husband's Ponzi scheme, a federal prosecutor said.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Lawrence LeVecchio submitted two one-paragraph motions Tuesday asking for a downward departures from U.S. District Judge Robin Rosenbaum for Rothstein and her friend, Stacie Weisman.

Both women are scheduled to be sentenced Tuesday for conspiracy to commit money laundering. They cooperated in the prosecution of a jeweler and a fence in a related case.

Federal sentencing guidelines call for a sentence of 37 to 46 months, according to an objection to the presentencing report submitted by Weisman's attorney, Alvin E. Entin, a partner at Entin & Della Fera in Fort Lauderdale.

He did not object to the sentence calculation but asked the Fort Lauderdale judge to note his client received no financial benefit in trying to help her best friend during a trying time.

"Stacie Weisman has never been able to say 'no,'" Entin wrote in Thursday's pleading.

Rothstein's attorney, David Tucker of Tucker & Kotler in Coral Gables, has not yet filed a response to the presentencing report.

Rothstein was supposed to surrender all assets purchased with money from her husband's $1.2 billion Ponzi scheme but instead hid some jewels and eventually sold a 12.08-carat diamond ring, watches and other assets. She ran the money through the trust account of Boca Raton attorney Scott Saidel, who was sentenced last month to three years in prison.

Weisman admits she sold the ring for $175,000 to Fort Lauderdale jeweler Robert Daoud, who is awaiting sentencing as well on a guilty plea.

Weisman said the ring and other assets were squirreled away because Kim Rothstein was planning to divorce her husband after he hit her during an argument in August 2009.

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