MIAMI—February 15, 2012—Barry R. Bekkedam and Ballamor Capital Management announced today that all claims asserted against Bekkedam and Ballamor in the Scott Rothstein multi-million dollar Ponzi scheme case have been dismissed by investors. Bekkedam and Ballamor were represented by Matthew Taylor of Philadelphia and Harvey Gurland of Miami, from Duane Morris LLP.
The plaintiff-investors’ claims in the Rothstein case arise from their loss of monies invested in what has now been revealed to be the largest Ponzi scheme in Florida history, created and run by attorney Scott Rothstein of Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Rothstein enticed investors to invest in confidential settlements that his law firm, Rothstein, Rosenfeldt, Adler, had supposedly negotiated for plaintiffs, who purportedly were Rothstein clients in sexual harassment and labor employment cases. Rothstein’s elaborate scheme made it appear that hundreds of millions of dollars in settlement funds were on deposit in local banks when in fact they were not. He offered investors the opportunity to invest in these supposed settlements using the ruse that the plaintiffs in the underlying civil lawsuits would be willing to take a discounted amount in return for not having to wait months to receive their funds.
Some of the plaintiff-investors invested directly with Rothstein while others invested indirectly through such vehicles as funds that invested in the structured settlements. Bekkedam, who assisted in forming one such fund and recommended it to his clients was also sued, though he believed that Rothstein was offering a legitimate investment opportunity. Rothstein’s ruse was not unmasked as a Ponzi scheme until the end of October, 2009. Rothstein was sentenced in Federal Court in Fort Lauderdale, Florida and is currently serving a 50 year prison sentence.
“It is very gratifying to get back my good name, as it’s one thing to have had an investment not work during this recession but it’s another to be implicated as being directly involved with a Ponzi scheme,” Bekkedam said today. “I sympathize completely with my fellow victims in this terrible deception,” he continued. “All of us were cruelly swindled by Rothstein as if the economic times we have faced were not enough. It has been and continues to be a difficult road for the investors and for me as the business my employees and I built over many years did not survive.”
Taylor and Gurland, Bekkedam’s lawyers, called the turn of events a “great day for justice.”
“It is of course tempting, in the case of such a horrendous swindle, to blame everyone who came near the purported investment fund,” Taylor said. “But Barry Bekkedam was as much a victim and suffered as a result of Scott Rothstein’s scheme.”
Plaintiffs and their attorneys had the opportunity to fully review the claims and the extensive evidence of the mechanics of the Ponzi scheme and the persons involved with Rothstein in running it before the claims against Bekkedam and Ballamor were dismissed.
The case is formally the “Razorback Funding LLC et al v. Scott W. Rothstein, et al.” Case No. 09-062943 (19) in the Circuit Court for the 17th Judicial Circuit in and for Broward County, Florida.
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