A former Hollywood agent has sued two New York hedge fund for $200 million, accusing it of unfairly tying him to the Scott Rothstein Ponzi scheme.
A.J. Discala, perhaps best known as the ex-husband of actress Jamie-Lynn Sigler and now CEO of New York-based merchant bank The Broadsmoore Group, filed a defamation claim against Platinum Partners and Centurion Credit, seeking $100 million in damages and another $100 million in punitive damages. Discala alleges that Platinum's Mark Nordlicht sought to spread the allegation that Discala "engaged in improper or criminal conduct in relations to Rothstein's Ponzi scheme," including an e-mail to Hedge Fund Alert saying that "the bigger story was A.J. Discala's involvement."
The resulting HFA article identified Discala's Clockwork Capital as having invested at least $30 million in Rothstein's scam, and noted that "the firm appears to have been set up for the sole purpose of lending to Banyon [Funding Rothstein feeder fund] and making direct investments in Rothstein's operation.
But, Discala notes, unlike Platinum and Centurion, he hasn't been sued.
"A.J. Discala has never been named as a party in any litigation whatsoever related to Rothstein's massive fraud nor has it ever been alleged that he had done anything wrong," his lawyers wrote to the South Florida Business Journal. "This lawsuit demonstrates that we fully intend to take similar actions against any individuals, organizations or media outlets that have made false, defamatory statements about Mr. Discala."
For its part, Platinum told the SFBJ that Discala's lawsuit, filed in West Palm Beach, Fla., federal court, was "frivolous."
Rothstein himself is serving 50 years in prison for running the $1.2 billion fraud.