Phony Big Shot Liked to Live Large: Prosecutors

Red Ferrari among his scams

By by Alice McQuillan
|  Tuesday, Feb 16, 2010  |  Updated 7:15 PM EDT
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Phony Big Shot Liked to Live Large: Prosecutors

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He was a phony big shot who lived large and drove a red Ferrari without doing much work.

So say Manhattan prosecutors who accused a 29-year-old Manhattan man Tuesday of conning Merrill Lynch out of $780,000 and using the money to buy that fancy red sports car.

Steven Mandala of Chelsea got Merrill to hire him by falsely claiming to be a partner at Maxim Group, where he supposedly managed $300 million in assets, pulled in $1.5 million in revenue and earned $765,000, said the Manhattan District Attorney.

Actually Mandala was only a stockbroker who made $100,000, officials said.  However by submitting fake pay stubs and tax returns, he conned Merrill, receiving a $780,000 advance from the Wall Street powerhouse, the DA said.

He used $245,580 to buy the Ferrari and was largely a no-show at Merrill where he recruited only three clients worth about $20,000, prosecutors said.

He's also accused of identify theft for allegedly using the name of his ex-girlfriend's dad to rack up tens of thousands of dollars in credit card charges.

Mandala pleaded not guilty to identity theft, grand larceny and money laundering and bail was set at $500,000.   His defense attorney blamed his ex for the credit card mess and promised that his client would take steps to reimburse Merrill.

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