Born to Steal

  • by Gary Weiss
  • Narrated by Frank Whaley
  • 5 hrs and 49 mins
  • Abridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

This is the astounding, true story of the rise and fall of a fast-talking stock hustler, as well as a shocking portrait of the insidious ways the Mob infiltrates and fleeces Wall Street. From outrageous scams to out-of-control strip-club parties, Born to Steal takes you inside the lives of brash young men who flaunt their ignorance of stocks, bonds, and PE ratios even as they become the perfect foot soldiers in a vast campaign to separate honest people from their money. Trading his jeans and T-shirt for a $90 suit, Louis Pasciuto arrived on Wall Street in 1992 to join a "chop house," a crooked brokerage firm set up by a charismatic Mob-connected overlord. Working out of seventeen brokerage firms, Louis sold often worthless or nonexistent stocks to gullible retirees right under the nose of financial regulators. Stuffing his money into a mayonnaise jar - because he didn't have a clue how to invest it - he was quickly making thousands of dollars a day, and ready to strike out on his own. But a shark wanted a piece of Louis's action. Enter Charlie Ricottone, a mobster straight out of The Sopranos, who pummeled people in public, painted his bald spot in private, and was just the advance guard of a money-hungry army of wiseguys.
Suddenly Louis's lifestyle - the stripper girlfriend, his looming marriage to an entirely different woman, the Rolexes, Armanis, celebrity friends, orgies, and three-day cocaine binges - was about to go up in smoke. When the violence escalated and the FBI finally stepped in, Louis had to pull off the ultimate heist: join the Feds and steal back his life.

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What the Critics Say

"Fast-moving, tragic, funny, highly entertaining." (AudioFile)
"A remarkable glimpse into the essentially lawless, virtually unregulated turf of easily manipulated penny stocks...and...broker strategies." (St. Petersburg Times)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Bummer on Wall St

I love the stock market. I love books about people who made it from the bottom and did well in business. But sorry to say that this book is just plain depressing. Real life story of a kid from NY that got sucked into the crack rock lifestyle of chop houses and made a ton of money ripping people off. He lied and cheated everyone in his life and I still felt bad for the guy in the end. When it finally ended I just felt sad.
Great narrator, good documentary style writing and a cool interview with the author at the end. Those redeeming qualities give it 3 stars. 2 1/2 would be more acurate.
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- Scott

Funny

This book is funny. This guy was a nut. The Wall Street version of the Jerky Boys. Quite entertaining. The reader is excellent, great tones and voice changes.
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- Amazon Customer

Book Details

  • Release Date: 08-29-2003
  • Publisher: Hachette Audio