Stock investor pleads guilty to insider-trading charge, movie made
Mar 2011 20

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.

More: Plea Deal Puts Mindow Redemption Movie in Limbo – Robboe Whelan, Wall Street Journal

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