Dan Kaufman—also known, variously, as Dan Kay, Dan Katze, and the Montauk Grifter—is currently awaiting trial in Manhattan on grand larceny charges for allegedly conning a tech company out of $20,000. He also faces hearings later this month in Brooklyn for probation violations relating to a prior grand larceny conviction for stealing credit card numbers. Both cases stem from his decade-long career as one of New York's most prolific and obsessive con-men—a career on which he routinely relied on online dating services to troll for victims. But his current legal troubles haven't stopped him from taking to OkCupid to dupe more unsuspecting women with extravagant lies. Look out ladies. He's back.
Corporate whore Ben Stein, who claims to be an economist but is really a commercial actor with an undergraduate degree in economics, has sued Japanese electronics firm Kyocera for violating his "freedom of religion" by not hiring him as a pitchman because he denies the reality of global warming. This man lives his Republican values to the hilt.
Forget cover girl Tina Fey and her scary scar story. The most interesting tale in this month's Vanity Fair is that of Christian Gerhartsreiter aka Christopher Chichester aka Christopher Crowe aka Clark Rockefeller. He's the mystery fellow who was arrested this summer after kidnapping his daughter, Snooks, whom he lost custody of during his messy divorce. Though he's a nefarious conman, he's also a brilliant one, with a fascinating story, as detailed by VF's Mark Seal. And we're kind of obsessed with it. It's a crazy, crazy thing.
Sad news for fans of sophisticated financial swindles: Raffaello Follieri, the con man ex-boyfriend of pixie-like actress Anne Hathaway, has been sentenced to four and a half years in THE SLAMMER for defrauding various investors in his fake-ass imaginary company out of $2 million or so. The Post scored this sweet photo of Follieri, Hathaway, and the Pope, which the Italian pretty boy tried to use for sympathy. Did not work!
Just a couple of months ago, Italian con-man Rafaello Follieri was all set to make a clean getaway. He knew the feds were investigating his alleged scheme to defraud investors like Bill Clinton. He was in Europe and could have stayed there. But his then-girlfriend Anne Hathaway kept calling and insisting they needed to talk about their future. Being the sort of dope who writes a $215,000 check against an account with $39 in it, and thus not realizing Hathaway was about to dump him, Follieri said, shucks, why not. A few days after his return to the states, he was in federal custody. And now his friends are wondering if it wasn't a big setup (on behalf of the feds) by an evil Hollywood actress!
Joshua David Stein and Page Six Magazine got lucky this week—con man and Anne Hathaway-dater Raffaello Follieri (at left, with Bill Clinton) was arrested just as Stein's long profile of him went to press! It's an entertaining read, and while it answers lots of questions about how Follieri's big con worked, it raises a bunch too. Like how the hell did such a ridiculous scam work for so long? And how much of his own insane hype did Follieri believe? He had to be convinced of his rightness (and righteousness) to keep the lifestyle going after getting exposed so many times by the billionaires he conned. So despite lawsuits and gradual exposure as a fraud, he soldiered on.
We can remember the innocent time just two weeks ago when we were urging innocent actress Anne Hathaway to dump her loser boyfriend, the swindling young con man Raffaello Follieri. How things have progressed since then! The Follieri coverage is almost too much to keep track of; after the jump, a handy link roundup of everything you need to know, up to right this minute:
Raffaello Follieri always looked the part of the Italian aristocrat. Impeccably dressed and permanently tanned—like a more attractive version of Zach Braff—he arrived in New York as a dashing young business tycoon with inside connections to the Vatican and a plan to use those connections to make millions. In short order he landed stunning actress Anne Hathaway as a girlfriend and drew attention from some of the most powerful financial figures in America. His father was Pasquale Follieri, an Italian businessman and his son's partner in the Follieri Group, an shady concern that promised investors big returns from real estate dealings with the Catholic Church. But that's not all that Pasquale was; just two years after he helped establish his son in New York, he would be a convicted financial criminal, in an eerie foreshadowing of Raffaello's own fate:
It should have by all accounts been a joyous time in the Raffaello Follieri-Anne Hathaway household—she, starring in the #1 movie in America, he, setting up a variety of high-stakes shell-games around the globe and reaping their unsavory rewards. Could the pitter-patter of little Raffaello feet—fleecing daycare mates out of their snacks under the guise of a Third World milk-and-cookie drive—have been far behind? Of course, it wasn't meant to be. Raffaello was the target of a New York State Attorney General's Office investigation, and Hathaway—likely after an all-night handling team intervention that culminated in an exhausted junior P.R. agent shouting, "You've got to leave him, Anne! If not for you—for Prada 2!"—finally broke things off with him. Raffaello, Manhattan prosecutors announced today, has been arrested on wire fraud conspiracy and money laundering charges. Oh, and there's also that little white lie he told about being God's hedge fund manager. Oopsies!
Francis X. Morrissey Jr. was the kind of white guy rich white people could trust. He's a lawyer specializing in wills, he's old, he wears loafers. He also, incidentally, swindled New York City's rich and very rich out of millions of dollars, a number of apartments and at least one art collection. Currently, Mr. Morrissey is facing an 18-count indictment along with her nogudnik son Anthony Marhsall for financially exploiting the late Mrs. Astor in the twilight of her life. But the Park Avenue matriarch was just the one lady in a long line of very rich, very dead and very punked clients Morrissey defrauded. He's swindled artists, gallery owners and even Mother Teresa's doctor. In Morrissey's defense, he does claim to be dyslexic. Judging from his massive history of defrauding the dead, he's still a nam dab! But how did he do it? [NB: Oh yeah, and by a fluke in our legal system, he's totally innocent until proven guilty! Please insert "been accused of" between pronouns referring to Morrissey and verbs referring to him.]