- Mass Market Paperback: 448 pages
- Publisher: Grand Central Publishing (May 1, 2004)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0446613983
- ISBN-13: 978-0446613989
- Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1 x 6.9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 8 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 35 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,122,432 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Born to Steal: When the Mafia Hit Wall Street Mass Market Paperback – May 1, 2004
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One day Louis Pasciuto was pumping gas. The next day he was pumping stocks on Wall Street-another brass-balled young hoodlum in an off-the-rack suit, persuading rich and gullible investors to buy phony stocks over the phone. But while Louis was raking in thousands of dollars a day and pouring it out on orgies and Armanis, someone else had his eyes on him... By the early 1990s the mob had its teeth sunk deep into the Bull Market, and phony, boiler-room stock hustlers like Louis were perfect prey. With a cocaine habit, a stripper girlfriend, and a Ferrari to go along with his straitlaced Staten Island fiancee, Louis was in way over his head-and a hungry mobster was at the door. Threatened by a protector who'd turned into his worst enemy, Louis began planning the most dangerous heist of all: to cross over to the Feds, cop a plea, and steal back his life...
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Giving an uneducated 20-year-old massive money is dangerous. As he doesn't trust banks, he develops a better use of him money, spend it. Spend it on toys, women, trips, and drugs until eventually his monthly living expenses are so high he has money troubles that end with a mafia guy entering his life for a monthly taste. Now that's a whole other problem.
Louis Pasciuto's personal history is a perfect overlay for a demonstration of how the mafia infiltrated the investment business. Stories of mafia guys coming in and slapping their brokers around for money are unsettling at best. As always, this doesn't end happily.
I strongly recommend this book for an entertaining educational read of what can go wrong in the investment world. For further info on this subject, see the DVD, Boiler Room with Ben Affleck for another perspective of this 1990s phonemen. Although starting a little slow, once you are engaged in reading this book you cannot put it down.
The story is very captivating. Reading about Louis spiral out of control, hooking up with organized crime "Guys", the drugs, the lies, the scamming. Pretty entertaining.
This book really makes me wonder what all those regulatory agencies actually do. Its obvious they are not running around trying to protect the average consumer. Too bad, cause with people like Louis manning the phones, many people out there need protection.
I found myself looking for excuses during the day to get back to reading this book. I really enjoyed it.
All in all, very disapointing unless you wanted to read a rambling interview instead of a book. I actually felt this book was a 2 star book, but because the subject was such a can't miss, felt I would a deduct a star from it due to the authoer actually "missing".
You may find yourself dealing with this part of society in one shape or another eventually and you may be surprised to find that the Mafia is NOT so dead as it is being assumed to be. Of course, if you really read between the lines of this book you realize that this is an example of Organized Crime ADAPTING. The penny stock industry (Yes. .it is an ongoing industry . . and NOT going the way of the buggy whip, if my FAX machine is any indication. . .filled as it is with unsolicited stock BS) was the place to be if you wanted to rub shoulders with mobsters in the 1990s. Weiss acts as narrator as the life story of Pasciuto unfolds.
Some here have complained about the prose style. I found it very accessible. The story is an easy read and you are not supposed to wind up "compelled" by any character. They are almost all bad guys. This time, Weiss didn't complain about how incompetent the legal watch dogs must be to simply let this all unfold without being much hindrance, but if you think this stuff through fully, you would wind up wondering that. . .WHERE IS THE SEC??? . . .the NASD?
Anyway, if you want to get a feel for the chop stock industry you should read this book. If you feel compelled to invest in those ULTRA LOW CAP stocks that you see in your fax machine or in unsolicited e-mails. . .you MUST read this book!