I was pleased to read in yesterday's New York Post that the bids for the rights to the story of Dana Giacchetto were only fetching $5,000 on EBay.
Who the heck is Dana Giacchetto you say? He's merely the social climbing punk who while a broker to some well known movie stars bilked them for $10 million and did time in jail after pleading guilty to "knowingly and willfully" defrauding his clients. In 2006 Robert L. Geltzer, the court-appointed trustee for Mr. Giacchetto’s bankrupt company, Cassandra Group, unearthed a book deal in which Mr. Giacchetto was to split the proceeds with Emily White, his biographer, according to today's New York Times.
Apparently you can also bid on a wallet, headphones and a cassette player the now bankrupt Giacchetto once owned. Whoop dee doo! Ostensibly the proeeds of the auction go to the bankruptcy estate.
We can all have a laugh about the December 2007 auction of a french fry that David Beckham dropped on the floor of a Nandos restaurant in Wellington New Zealand or cackle about the nincumpoop who hocked a bottle of Coke they drank while watching Becks walk past a museum the same day.
But is it not particularly disturbing that there has been a need in this country to promote people whose "15 minutes of fame" is associated with an illicit act in which people have been physically or financially injured?
As a Registered Settlement Planner I and my industry colleagues work with people who are physically and financially injured and help them plan their financial futures. It is a privilege that most take seriously and play by the rules. Financial scandals such as Madoff, Stanford, Giacchetto, Enron etc. erode people's confidence and create fears in people's minds that may prevent them from making sound financial decisions and taking advice from honest financial advisers.
While I can appreciate that the trustee of a bankruptcy estate must do what it can to find a way repay the victims of illicit acts, does the lack of discretion in using the notoriety to promote the sale of assets simply cause more widespread damage than the original fraud?