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Rothstein defense attorney got pay raise to $500,000, forgiven $190,000 in loans last October

By Peter Franceschina
Sun Sentinel

Marc Nurik – Scott Rothstein’s criminal defense attorney – got a pay raise to $500,000 a year and was forgiven $190,000 in loans in the final month of Rothstein’s $1.2 billion Ponzi scheme, Nurik testified Tuesday during a deposition.

Nurik came to the deposition with fortifications – an energy drink, a power bar and Fig Newtons – to answer questions from bankruptcy lawyers seeking to reclaim assets for creditors of the defunct Rothstein Rosenfeldt Adler law firm.

The bankruptcy attorneys have filed lawsuits against several of the former Fort Lauderdale law firm’s partners seeking millions of dollars, alleging they were overpaid for their work and received loans they never repaid.

Nurik admitted he would regularly ask Rothstein for money to cover personal expenses.
He testified he can’t repay the $190,000 in loans he received after he joined the law firm in October 2007. His salary was $350,000 and Rothstein promised a $50,000 loan that year. If he brought business into the firm, the loan would be converted to a bonus, Nurik said.

Nurik said he lived rent free for more than a year in a Castilla Isles home bought by Rothstein for $1.9 million and didn’t pay expenses on the home, but began paying the expenses and $2,500 in monthly rent after Rothstein’s Ponzi scheme imploded in late October.

That month, Nurik said he convinced Rothstein to raise his pay to $500,000 a year and convert the loans into bonuses. He said he has yet to pay income tax on the bonuses and didn’t consider the free rent to be income on which he owed taxes.

Bankruptcy lawyer Chuck Lichtman asserted that the $190,000 was in fact loans, and subject to return to creditors. Nurik said he would be willing to negotiate repayment to creditors to avoid a lawsuit, adding he deserved the bonuses because he brought $1.9 million in business to the firm.
He said he was paid $50,000 by Rothstein’s wife’s family to defend Rothstein, but returned that money and is not currently being paid for his defense work.

There were a few testy moments in the questioning, but also jokes about Nurik having to sell gift law firm cufflinks and a pen on eBay to repay creditors.

Nurik didn’t know anything about Rothstein’s fraudulent investment scam selling non-existent legal settlements, he testified, and didn’t regularly socialize with him.

“As it turns out, obviously, I was not in his inner-inner circle,” Nurik said. “I didn’t socialize with him. I was not part of his group of friends.”

Rothstein, 47, has pleaded guilty to five federal counts of racketeering, money laundering and fraud. He faces up to 100 years in prison at his May 6 sentencing. He has been held in federal custody since his Dec. 1 arrest.

POSTED IN: Scott Rothstein (109)

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Why would you need a loan if you were paid a $350,000 salary, and lived RENT FREE. Where can I find a 1.9 MILLION DOLLAR HOME that rents for $2,500??? KIM IS GUILTY!!!

They better give Kims bodyguard a raise, now that Scott left her hanging out to dry while he rats on the mob! And Nurik is hiding something. Turn on the lights, and all the cockaroaches start to run.

Nurik, another unethical attorney??? How many can there be in Broward County???
(Answer: How may attorneys are there in Broward County.....)

I knew he'd get away with it all. And so will his "crew". Nurik included.

I am appalled at the Federal Prosecutors conduct in the Rothstein case. First, they represented to the court that Nurik, Rothstein's counsel, a member of Rothstein's law firm which was a front for his Ponzi scheme, had no connection to the fraud and they had no objection to his serving as Rothstein's sole defense counsel. We now learn that Nurik cut a deal with Rothstein as Rothstein was heading out to the door to Morroco that if he( Rothstein ) decided to return and not be a fugitive that Nurik would represent him. To incentivize Nurik agree to this conditional representation , Rothstein agreed to forgive Nurik's $190,000.00 loan from Rothstein and increase his salary by $150,000.00. Had the Federal prosecutors done their homework they would have learned that this now forgiven loan came out of the monies Rothstein had swindled.
In addition it is should be apparent that Rothstein always had in mind Nurik representing him when his fraud was revealed since a year before the frauds collapse he had placed him rent free in a $1.9M home Rothstein bought with the fraud proceeds. The only other Rothstein associate living in a Rothstein purchased house was right hand Maria Villegas, the keeper of the dirty books.
It should now be clear to the Federal Judge who is about to sentence Rothstein that if he fails to demand that Rothstein obtain untainted counsel that Rothstein will be able to file a credible appeal that he was not independently represented. While Rothstein has already he waived any conflict with Nurik's representation, in light of the recently disclosed facts which were not put on the record at the time Rothstein's plea was accepted, if the Federal Juge fails to redo Rothstein's waiver, his Appeals lawyer will be salivating.The Federal Prosecutors should be ashamed and censured by the judge.

Sorry Dennis money buys everything and anything and SR had enough to buy anything and everything. And anybody. I know it's disheartening but that is what makes the world go round. Us nobodies are nothing but pawns.

What a joke has it right! How in the world does the prosecution let this idiot skate? What an arrogant POS. Uh...I got p[aid $190K, lived rent free in my boss's house, and recieved unexplained bonuses. JUST DAYS before my boss goes down for the biggest fraud/theft ever in south Florida, and he hires me...little ole' otherwise anonymous, irrlevant me, to be his defense lawyer, I get a raise of $210K, and the bonuses are waived. I return the $50K payment from his family to cover his defense feees. Ummmmm.... excuse me while I eat another Fig Newton... absolutely no reason to suspect anything wrong on my end.
Typical of the lawyers Rothstein surrended himself with...all hat with no cattle!

Of course they WERE ALL in it...Come on, please.

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