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Roger Stone, controversial GOP operative, mired in Ponzi fallout

September 23, 2011 |  8:30 am

Roger Stone -- storied Republican political operative, unrepentant Nixonian dirty trickster -- is also a famous coiner of maxims, which he calls "Stone's Rules."

One of his best known: "Admit nothing. Deny everything. Launch counterattack."

It's advice Stone is hewing to, apparently, as he finds himself caught up in the cleanup of the extensive mess left behind by Florida Ponzi schemer and disbarred lawyer Scott Rothstein.

Scott Rothstein Last year, Rothstein pleaded guilty to racketeering, fraud and money laundering charges for running a $1.2-billion fraud while he was heading up the Rothstein Rosenfeldt Adler law firm in Ft. Lauderdale.

Now, bankruptcy trustee Herbert Stettin is trying to get some of that money back on behalf of the creditors of the defunct law firm, an effort that has led Stettin down the blinged-up boulevards of South Floridian mega-excess. In July, he sued a jewelry company for $2.4 million, money that Stettin said Rothstein spent satisfying an "obsession" with luxury watches.

A separate suit claims that Rothstein bestowed a Ferrari upon his former law partner as a gift. Apparently the drugstore was out of those little Ferrero Rocher chocolates.

Another reported splurge by Rothstein was on Roger Stone (profiled in the Weekly Standard for those unfamiliar with the name).

According to the South Florida Business Journal, Stettin has filed a suit alleging that Stone and his companies were paid $400,000 by Rothstein's law firm -- fees, the paper writes, that allegedly provided "no benefit" to the firm.

Stone fired back in characteristically pugilistic form, ticking off all three boxes in his three-part rule:

"The lawsuit is without merit. I earned every penny I was paid by RRA for professional services which had value," he reportedly said in a statement.

Stone also lashed out at Berger Singerman, a law firm working with Settin, as well as Settin himself.

"The biggest rip-off since the Rothstein Ponzi scheme is the massive legal fees being paid to Berger Singerman and... Herbert Stettin," he said.

And, along those lines, the website judgeherbertstettin.com -- created by a group that calls itself "Florida Citizens for Florida Citizens" -- offers up all sorts of negative comments on Stettin, a Florida judge.

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Photo: Scott Rothstein, circa 2009. Credit: AP Photo/Charles Trainor Jr., The Miami Herald, File

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