The Real ‘Wolf of Wall Street’?


I had more clients that I could ever wish for I made friends with a lot of my clients which were amazing creative partnerships obviously we made millions and lost millions and at the height of the madness there were certainly lots of sex with partners and a lot of drugs and when I went to jail it all went away what I can say is that I flew too close to the Sun I guess everyone knows from Icarus what happens when you do that you lose it all and you fall back to earth and now I’m trying to bring it all back you the oscar-nominated movie wolf of wallstreet was famously based on the story of Jordan Belfort a crooked investment banker who made his money selling worthless stocks at a high price but according to some the original inspiration behind Leonardo DiCaprio’s arranged the world of unfathomable excess twinned with 1990s tailoring apparently didn’t come from Bell for himself but from a man named Dana jikido people close to Dana including Emily white a former friend who wrote a critical book about him and Dana himself say Leo became interested in the idea of making this film because he had lived it with Dana Steves to newest Dana’s friend and Leo’s former bodyguard says their social scene was mirrored in the film what did it look like when you walked into Dana’s apartment on one of the biggest party nights so thanks to see there was sex whose escorts basically like the wolf of Wall Street Danny G of Quetta was managing my savings and he took half my account and put it in his own account he somehow wanted to make sure they knew they were making money so he would take the poor person’s money and give it to the richer person and he was living an extremely lavish lifestyle which he either paid himself very very well or some of that money got spent Dena was the money manager to a-listers in the 90s an apparently Leo’s best friend during the pinnacle of his fame until he misappropriated nearly ten million dollars back in 1988 Dana used a $200,000 loan from his mom to start a company called Cassandra group he had already worked as an account executive and used this credential to convince his friends to invest money with him tell me how you first of all came up with the name Cassandra well Cassandra was a Greek mythological figure right Gianna and she was never believed so she knew the future but was never believed and in investment circles a Cassandra is a contrarian so Lissa foreshadowing yeah so so I like the fact that Cassandra was a foreshadowing of doom which is not great but I also like the fact that she she was a powerful figure who was never believed so I thought that was interesting and in investment circles like Cassandra is as someone who was actually the prophet of doom a prophetess Atun so pretty kind what do you make of that I mean it’s I know it’s gonna go weird yeah it’s it’s a strange thing that I picked that name and maybe it was was it foreshadowing anything no I think I’d liked it cuz it was said of edgy and made sense for an advisor who was working with artists Dana snagged an up-and-coming client early Sub Pop Records they were at that time the sort of the premiere a list in the indie music world they had Nirvana they had Soundgarden Bruce Pavan and John Portman created this scene and you know in Seattle almost got a whole cloth which was called grunge so having worked with that and then at a very young age selling 49% of Sub Pop at a forty million dollar valuation we got twenty million dollars for 49% of the company this big deal it was after Kurt Cobain’s death so it gave the Cassandra Group a lot of cachet at the time in the music world this was a massive deal and put dana on the map as a young guy who can make artists big money soon after the a-listers were flocking dana says leo would apparently spend months living at his apartment they even had matching cockatoos and their parties were legendary two three four five six seven eight to see where the plants are yeah so that’s what that was my trading floor for Cassandra Gert okay and so that was the trading floor and then you live in that house the penthouse where the light is on with the five archers yeah this is the Prince Street side and then when we go to Broadway you can see those sides a giant owl it’s about 8,000 square feet and then the room was mine as well massive and who used to crash with you at your place well as it’s been told you know Leonardo Toby Maguire Matt Damon Ben Affleck Robert Downey jr. stayed Smashing Pumpkins Cameron Alanis Kate Moss q-tip Janet Jackson everyone knows the story of I guess in Gilbert Grape you know Leo climbs the water tower so they him and Toby did that on my roof and we filmed it and then we almost got thrown out of the apartment yeah well on this shoot Dana offered to show us the mountains of photos he had from the good old days hanging out with his celebrity friends I’m just gonna go through some of these photos and think about where they were this is Toby Maguire at a club and this is right before Wonderboys that he shot was from the set of the beach where danny boyle directed amazing film which could have been more amazing i think if it was edited differently this is me after doing like as many cocktails as I could and taking lots of opiates here it is a unhappy fish caught on the side of the beach with stripes that we were all think it was pretty cool you can see my bird Angel really smart animals it’s like you know you put cocaine in a little and in a nozzle here and the parrot will say you know coke and get the cocaine versus water angel by the way for everyone’s worried is living in the Pennsylvania woods very happy she’s very happy his Jay Ferguson on Naomi Campbell in Leonardo I’m at a party in my house a lot of these are from a party that we had basically while Titanic was showing at the Academy Awards we wanted to like piss off the director deliberately so we had a big party at the exact same time that Titanic was running at the CAD awards and it was a lot of fun as you can see here’s a remarkable meeting where Bob Dylan played for the Pope and Bologna the Pope was a little bit intimidating because I thought he was also frail and he was dying’s Kevin Connolly Leonardo DiCaprio and Jay Ferguson and I were all in these really heavy ritz-carlton bathrobes so walking around naked except for the bathrobes you could eat wherever you wanted you could fly wherever you wanted it was a sense of unbelievable freedom that and I think a lot of us felt that it’s a really sexy feeling thing today I can do anything I want I can go wherever I want and that’s gonna be okay and no one’s gonna say no and I think that was yeah that’s a good question definitely the sex and the drugs and the orgies were part of my life not because it was instrumental in running a merchant bank or an investment bank but because it was just part of the culture of the entertainment community right so it was about access but it was also like we talked about power and how that convened and in Hollywood where it’s all artifice and mystical all right in fantasy I think those things get elevated so so the sacks the drugs all of that is part and parcel to that lifestyle which is about creating a solid Cystic world in some senses or a world in which pleasure and civic lifestyle is accepted and it’s actually sometimes reveled in or even admired and I think in the sense of Scorsese’s with Wall Street like you was saying that’s what you found compelling which is that you’re interested in the financial crime you’re interested in the excesses that that crime created right and that was what propelled that so yes I think my lifestyle drugs and sex definitely not the financial stuff has nothing to do my life in 2000 Dana was convicted of fraud under the Investment Advisers act after his clients lost a total of nearly 10 million dollars he was sentenced to up to 57 months in federal prison what do you think you did wrong well I know what I did wrong and I admitted it in court I mean what we what I did that was wrong was that violation of the advisors Act we had a discreet fund called chase Cassandra Entertainment Partners which was doing private equity deals and for 15 years primarily what I did with my clients was invest in blue chip stocks and we made money we lost money but then I started to get involved in a lot of private placement deals and which were like very very small sums of money I had trusted these people to invest the money for my clients I gave a lot of these people my clients money and moved it into them and then it wasn’t coming back so I had to move it back into the accounts and that looked like I was stealing money and that’s why people say well it was a Ponzi scheme because he had money coming in to buy this investment money going out to buy the investment that’s actually what happened at the time to be clear Dana would take one asset to fill the emptiness of another once it was lost despite Dana’s casual explanation this is a major criminal offense did you at any point try to cover it up tell your clients listen we are making money it’s just not in your account yet now I never tried to cover it up I didn’t I didn’t know what was going on myself so I tried to figure out what was actually going on before I told my clients anything I realized that some of those deals had gone south I told my clients look I don’t think you’re gonna get your money out still Dana would tap into his clients accounts and make checks out to himself he was also able to cash checks made out to his clients he continued to tell us that he still didn’t believe he did anything wrong aside from making bad investments I thought I was gifted with the ability to bring these fields together and I could empower the artist by demystifying the cap of the markets for them and helping them and the horrible thing about being painted the brushes of you know as a thief is that I’m not a thief and that the very people that I was trying to help you know um I was basically the press said I was actually trying to rip them off it’s a horrible thing do you think that there’s ever say an action taken in in when you were getting into trouble where you looked at it you said that’s not wrong and someone else looked at the exact same action and said that’s pretty wrong actually what I did is I looked at stuff and said this is really wrong and when I talked to the my partners at the bank they said oh don’t don’t worry about it and they you know signed every check with me so is really problematic but not problematic enough for him to stop doing it until the SEC got involved but Dana had a clear obsession with his celebrity friends losing their money meant losing their friendship do you think that because you form those personal relationships with your clients you felt so strongly about not screwing up their investments that you then made bad decisions because you didn’t want to tell them that maybe they had been losing money no I did tell I had lots of hard conversations with people about losing money I think the really difficult thing is I care less about money than I care about the like getting patted on the back from the client gives me a good kiss says thanks good job and then I know that I no one else had that ability or very few people have that ability to realize that dream and to make that dream a reality that really turns me on when news of his financial scams went public all of his celebrity friends were advised to leave him the one friend that didn’t leave him paid the price earlier this year there was a criminal complaint about me saying that Stevie is a victim in a case and of course he’s not a victim no no every on but again I think that was the first rift I had with Dana yeah because I had called his attorney I didn’t know anything about what was happening and his attorney was was being difficult with me and led me to believe that possibly he did steal my identity my I think I called a non pathological liar but thanks although I was you know what do you do when you led to believe that your body stole you know took your credit cards and was wacked up take I you know at the end of the date he did not it didn’t happen that way it was purely based on miscommunication between his attorney night Dana was recently accused of charging over $10,000 on Steve’s credit card Dana told us he turned himself in to avoid the bad press of a trial the settlement details are confidential if the elevator guy comes down I’ll take you up and maybe we’ll bust some people that don’t want to see me just to see if it’s fun Dana tried to show us one of his old hangouts cos on my man’s hair I’m trying to finish this movie cool is that right get out here to join in I think so why not but he got rejected at the door thanks back uh he’s been the doorman here for since it opened and um this is Mercer we’re great ASSA hotel and um yeah private and special and secretive as you can see do you find that it’s difficult for artists to trust you I think if you write a lot of the stuff about me you would find it difficult yeah but I think once they meet me and they realize what I’m like and what I’m about it’s not that difficult do you feel like any clients still hold a grudge against you I don’t think there are a lot of people in the world that hate danger Ducato I think a lot of people in the world that don’t know what happened and so that I was painting with this brush if they think maybe he was a thief or maybe hit his head end of the cookie jar it’s not that at all but we second give me the opportunity to actually tell you what happened which is really lovely thank you incredible in that hatton this is where I try to create value to people I did it with Cassandra now I’m doing with D two consultants but I’ll always create value for those matter the wall street punk rocker is occupying Fifth Avenue so look at most people don’t live in a world of extraordinary privilege and what happens to young middle-class people that become celebrities and I’m probably one of the few people in the world that his experiences over and over again with young clients who literally were broke and became extraordinarily wealthy just forget about the economics not only wealth but extraordinary worldwide fame that Fame and that wealth gives you access to power sex money access privilege and also people start to believe well maybe you know maybe I’m not like everybody else and humility becomes extraction it’s hard to be humble when you could sleep with anyone in the room you know or and you can buy anything in the room right so you know it’s the the idea that it’s the abscess if you know the absence of humility you

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