Local Fort Lauderdale residents told ABC News that he made a major mark on the Florida society scene about a year ago, as he and his wife, Kim, were often featured in the "Society Scene" section of the Florida Sun-Sentinel.
One local who knew Rothstein said he was "surprised" at the news: "He was a very nice man," said the resident, who did not want to be named.
Now politicians are scrambling to return the allegedly tainted money that the received, although much of what he gave The Republican Party of Florida in years past has already been spent, according to the Party.
"The Republican Party of Florida is currently putting a plan in place to turn over contributions associated with Rothstein. The funding will be turned over for placement in a victim compensation fund when such a fund or similar entity becomes available," a spokesman for the Party said today.
This applies to the $148,244 the party says they received from Scott Rothstein and his law firm in 2009 ($50,000 from Scott Rothstein, $90,000 from Rothstein Rosenfeldt Adler, $8244 in in-kind contributions).
Rothstein also gave to Democrats .
Scott Arceneaux, Executive Director of the Florida Democratic Party says that, "in accordance with our policy to return tainted donations, we have, through our attorney, refunded the questionable donation from the law firm of Rothstein, Rosenfeldt, & Adler. We sincerely hope our action today helps the victims of any wrong doing recover what they have lost."
The state Democratic Party says it received just one donation from Rothstein law firm this year and did not receive any personal donations from him or his wife Kim.