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They say the finest form of flattery is imitation. If that is true, Mark Yagalla was a big fan of Jordan Belfort. Yagalla not only scammed his investors out of millions of dollars, roughly $50M to be exact, but he also wrote about it. Just like Jordan, he liked to spend his money on extravagant things. He played the game real fast and loose. By the time he was 19, he was worth millions. By the time he hit 24, he had lost it all because the Feds caught his ass.
From Page Six:
He was busted in 2000 by the feds for draining millions from his Ashbury Capital Partners to buy himself Bentleys, a helicopter, oil wells, furs, Rolexes and homes. A report at the time said: “His offenses left investors, many of them in their twilight years, wiped out.”
If you’re going to scam your investors out of millions, nice watches, cars, and oil wells are some good choices to spend it on. However, he wasn’t just buying Bentleys, but he was paying much, much more for one Sandy Bentley, who was the girlfriend of Hugh Hefner at the time. He must have a thing for Bentleys, and I really don’t blame him. Seriously, check her out. He essentially straight up out-bid Bentley to be his girlfriend.
But while Hefner was giving Bentley a measly $1,000 a month, Yagalla swept her off her feet, and “she got bumped up to $50,000 a month, and then $100,000,” he writes. “Plus, she got her own platinum American Express card with no limit. She was averaging another $100,000 a month on the Amex. Between Sandy, the plane and the casinos, I was going through a minimum of $1 million a month.” Her room-service bill “typically ran over $1,000 each time Sandy ordered.”
After Yagalla was caught, he spent five years in prison. He and Sandy split during that time. It’s probably for the best, though. Her next boyfriend was found dead in 2002 trying to sell some jewelry that Mark gave Sandy. Where’d they find him? Just in a burning, bullet-ridden SUV. So getting five years for scamming investors sounds like a pretty good deal. Yagalla is now living in Thailand, presumably hoping he can parlay his book into a movie.
There can only be one Jordan Belfort, Yagalla. Good job, good effort..
[via Page Six]
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