In a series of cocky, sometimes profane emails to an alleged accomplice, convicted Ponzi schemer Scott Rothstein bragged about his financial prowess, calling himself a "pimp" and a "punk" who loved making money so much "I feel like I just took six Viagra."
The emails surfaced as part of a lawsuit against car dealership heir Ted Morse, who is being sued by more than two dozen Rothstein investors who claim he was a willing participant in Rothstein's $1.2 billion fraud, the largest in South Florida history. The scheme collapsed in 2009 and Rothstein, 49, is now serving a 50-year federal sentence.
In the emails, sent between 2006 and 2008, Rothstein mixes slang, braggadocio and emoticons as he asks Morse to front him hundreds of thousands of dollars with a promise of a quick profit from his "International Bank of Wow."
"Have I told you how much I loveeeeeeeeeeeeeeee this business," writes Rothstein after asking Morse for $172,000, "and how much I love the color green … I feel like I just took six Viagra." The message, sent March 24, 2006, tells Morse he'll get his money back plus 22 percent interest after seven weeks."
"Let me know if u r in," asks Rothstein in another, after promising Morse a profit of more than $100,000 in six months. "Love ya. International bank of WOW!!!!!!."
In an email titled, "my favorite subject after [sex]," Rothstein asks for $200,000 and offers 20 percent interest after 10 weeks. "Actually, it's not my favorite subject after [sex]," Rothstein writes in conclusion. "it is the subject that allows me to have all the [sex] I want. Love ya, me."
Many of the emails are titled "Mo Money," perhaps a reference to the song, "Mo Money, Mo Problems," by rapper Biggie Smalls. Rothstein calls himself "Da Banker from the Bronx," and calls Morse "dawg," "bro" and "my pimp player bro." He signs off on a March 25, 2008 message with "Me, The punk ... with a bad reputation ... like yours ... hehehehehehe."
Rothstein and seven other individuals have been charged in the case to date, and Rothstein is cooperating with authorities. The new lawsuit alleges that Ted Morse had to be aware that Rothstein was engaged in fraud, since he was offering quick returns at interest rates defined as usury under law. Rothstein was actually paying Morse using other investors' money.
The Morse family, which owns more than a dozen car dealerships, maintains they were victims of Rothstein's scheme -- unaware of any fraud and out millions of dollars when the pyramid crashed in 2009. Rothstein helped run a large law firm in Ft. Lauderdale, and one of his scams involved promising investors profits from lawsuits he was settling. Among the emails released by the plaintiffs is a demand from Carol Morse for documentation of Rothstein's supposed court cases.
Some of Rothstein's emails to Ted Morse, however, contain what could be interpreted as acknowledgements of bad behavior. One tells Morse, "Enjoy your ill gotten booty," another seems to refer to a financial transaction as a "dastardly deed," and another ends with the salutation, "The usurious one."
Ted Morse has not been charged with any criminal wrongdoing, nor has any other member of the Morse family been charged.