Monday, November 10, 2014


Gibraltar Private Bank & Trust Co., the Miami financial institution who once listed attorney/Ponzi schemer Rothstein as a prominent client, as well as minority shareholder, has announced that it is the subject of a Consent Order, issued by the Office of Comptroller of the Currency (OCC). The regulatory action, which replaces an earlier, and similar, 2010 Cease & Desist handed down by the former Office of Thrift Supervision (OTS), reportedly relates to violations of anti-money laundering regulations, and the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA).

Here's my concern: if you search the OCC website, you find that the Consent Order has not yet been made public, notwithstanding that the target, the bank, has already indicated that it exists. The report said that it will not be issued until later in November ? What is going on here ?

Listen, I understand that the bank wants bad news to be issued quietly, and hopefully, to be ignored by the media, but Gibraltar was one of the principal banks that was used by Scott Rothstein to perpetrate his massive Ponzi scheme. Should the public not be informed as soon as possible, as any possible bank compliance failures could impact the actions of the victims, including, but not limited to, litigation against the bank, should negligent acts come to light, from reading the order ?

Even the most junior compliance officer at Gibraltar should have known to check the court dockets in the three South Florida counties, to verify that RRA, Rothstein's firm, was handling the amount of litigation appropriate to the huge amounts of money coming into the firm's accounts, and exiting them forthwith. Just how many red flags does one need to form an opinion that something is wrong with a bank customer ?

The end of November, which is a four day weekend wrapped around the observance of Thanksgiving, means that nobody will be at work to read the Consent Order. My request to OCC, please do not wait to release the order, for the details are needed now. There's no good reason to time it for the convenience of the bank's spin masters. The victims of Scott Rothstein's Ponzi scheme have the right to know about all developments on a timely basis.

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