Barry Minkow was just a kid when he started what morphed into a company with a $280 million valuation by the time he turned 20 years old. He was the founder of ZZZZ Best carpet cleaners and spent five years making it into a nationally-known giant in the field.
It was not your traditional “rags to riches” story, however. Turns out, he was running a very successful Ponzi scheme, using money invested by some to pay off others. Days before ZZZZ Best was to merge with KeyServ, a national services company, the walls came down and his scam was uncovered.
He was forced to resign and then faced charges in court that led to a 25-year sentence. He spent seven years in prison. During his stay, he “found Jesus” and converted to Christianity. Upon release, he worked as a pastor in a church.
But, it wasn’t your traditional “rags to riches to rags with redemption” story. Turns out, he got himself involved in another scheme, this one to use insider-knowledge of companies in order to short their stocks, incluidng Lennar, the mega-company that has built hundreds of thousands of new homes during the past decade.
The Feds caught on and this week he plead guilty to a single charge of insider trading. He could spend the next five years in prison.
Mr. Minkow certainly kept himself busy over the years. He even had time to write a movie about his life, titled, naturally, “Minkow”.
Unfortunately, the movie was finished prior to the uncovering of his latest schemes. The movie’s budget is estimated at $4 million.
I guess they can fix it in the editing room.
In my opinion, the wooden acting in this movie is as much a crime as cheating people out of their money.
See if you can catch all the major movie stars in this preview. I found Academy Award winner James Caan (who, ironically, shows up on screen whenever a character uses the word, “con”, two-time Academy Award nominee Talia Shire, Star Wars pretty boy Mark Hamill, Mission Impossible star Emmy Award winner Ving Rhames, Emmy Award winner Armand Assante, and Melissa Ordway, among others.
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