Wednesday, December 30, 2009

"Loan Me Fifty Dollars."

Lippmancomplaint

God I miss Neil.

Remember how Rogers often played that old clip of Larry King, asking for a loan?

That came to mind as I reviewed the adversary complaint filed by Herb Stettin against Steve Lippman.

I don't know about your law firm, but does this part sound normal to you:
23. The second set of payments the Trustee seeks to recover includes reimbursements for payments made by RRA to Lippman which were classified in RRA’s financial records as “loans” or “other compensation” and are referred to below as the “Lippman Loans.” These payments were reflected by numerous checks written by RRA to Lippman over a 4 year period from the RRA operating account. Typically, Lippman would deposit each check into the bank account he maintained in the name of Lippman Valinsky & Storfer, and which Lippman and Rothstein both referred to as the “Nest Egg Account.” Usually, within a day or two of deposit by Lippman of the RRA check, he would then write a check out of the Nest Egg Account payable to RRA in an amount less than the check RRA had just given him. These loan payment checks were usually deposited into RRA’s operating account, although some were deposited into one or more RRA accounts denominated as a “trust account” or “real estate account.” The Lippman Loans totaled $8,960,310.75.

24. In some instances, after Lippman received a check from RRA, rather than repaying RRA, he wrote the return check drawn on the Nest Egg Account to third parties including: (a) 10 checks to Sterling Bank, totaling $664,953, although all of these checks appear to have been indorsed by an individual and not the payee bank; (b) a check to Kendall Sports Bar in the amount of $89,000; (c) 4 checks payable to Albert Peter, an individual who had a business relationship with Rothstein, totaling $89,723; (c) 4 checks to Banyon LLC totaling $797,000; (d) 2 checks to Rothstein totaling $463,143; and (e) various other checks to himself and Rosenfeldt.

25. The total unpaid amount of Lippman Loans, net of all repayment checks, as of the date hereof is $2,464,907.68. The payments described in the preceding paragraph provided no benefit to RRA and thus, RRA received less than a reasonably equivalent value in exchange for the unpaid Lippman Loans.
Lippman's lawyer Bruce Zimet says it's all ok:
Zimet said Lippman's expenses were paid as part of his agreement with the law firm. As for the bonuses, Zimet said, Lippman earned much more money for the law firm than he received in compensation. Zimet also disputed Stettin's characterizing some figures as loans, but declined to be specific.
I also liked this paragraph:
Indeed, while the scheme was ongoing, RRA rapidly grew from a 7 attorney law firm in 2002 to 70 attorneys and 80 support staff in 2009. Prior to 2005, Rothstein was a virtual unknown in legal, political, and charitable circles. Subsequent to 2005, Rothstein and RRA gained the reputation of being a highly visible law firm making direct and indirect significant political and charitable contributions to both gain influence and give the appearance of a successful law firm.
Key word kidzzz: appearance.

41 comments:

  1. Lippman is low hanging fruit. And by the way, Arthur Rice is a mensch:

    Arthur Rice, a name partner in the firm, said in an e-mail Tuesday night that he had not yet read the complaint.

    ``Having said that I know Steve Lippman and he is a man of integrity and until we are shown competent evidence to the contrary he will remain a valued member of our firm. I and other members of our firm have considerable experience in fraud recovery work and it is our collective experience that in cases such as this things are not always what they appear to be.''

    ReplyDelete
  2. I have heard arthur rice called a lot of things by a lot of people, but mensch is not one of them....

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  4. Zimet provides no real explanation on the loans.

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