Being a star offers many advantages – starting with getting super expensive gifts all the time – but it doesn’t protect you from everything. It’s not because we are super famous and hyper full of aces that we are safe from falling into a well-crafted scam one day. On the contrary, the richer we are, the more they will try to fool us, and this is what happened to some huge re-sta who were not vigilant enough.
1. Brad Pitt
We start with the most ridiculous story to put you in the right place: in 2008, Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie bought a castle in France, the Château de Miraval, for the modest sum of 67 million dollars. Shortly after, a man made Brad Pitt believe that a treasure was hiding on his property in order to give him very, very expensive equipment for his research. He obviously never found anything and ended up discovering that the gentleman was a crook. A little too naive, the Brad.
2. Anne Hathaway
In the 2000s, Anne Hathaway was in a relationship for 3 years with the Italian real estate developer Raffaello Follieri, who turned out to be a scammer. The guy posed as a Vatican official and managed to extort at least $2.4 million from the actress who shared his life by tricking her into thinking he needed investors. Finally, Follieri went before the judge and took 4 and a half years in jail for all his shenanigans. Anne Hathaway ended up starting a new life with a jewelry designer who, apparently, is a little more honest.
3. Leonardo DiCaprio
Yeah, our good Leo got screwed too, and by his friend too. Well, ex-boyfriend. This guy is Dana Giacchetto, an investment banker he hung out with a lot early in his career. The two did everything together, they organized huge parties where they invited all of Hollywood and even bought a parrot each to match. Only, Giacchetto also made fraudulent financial arrangements with the money of the stars, including his friend Leonardo, from whom he would have stolen several million dollars (the true figure never came out). It’s not pretty pretty to do that to a friend.
4. Ben Stiller
He too was friends with Dana Giacchetto, and he too had a large sum (probably several million) taken from him by the banker.
5. Courteney Cox
Same story for the star of Friends: his meeting with Dana Giacchetto will have cost him several million dollars. Definitely, it was better not to hang out with this guy at the time.
6. Alanis Morissette
If the singer participated in the evenings organized by DiCaprio and Giacchetto, it is not the latter who tried to fleece her. No, it was her manager, Jonathan Schwartz, who cheated her out of $4.8 million, simply by making transfers from Alanis’ account to his. We have seen better as a manager.
7. Liv Tyler
Around 2010, Liv Tyler regularly visited a spa run by a certain Maria Gabriela Hashemipour, until she realized one day that $214,000 had been spent with her American Express. The culprit was none other than the owner of the spa, who had kept the imprints of her customers’ credit cards so she could go shopping with their money. She was quickly caught, because at the same time it was not very smart as a scam.
8. Jack Nicholson
The actor was simply scammed by Todd Michael Volpe, an art dealer who convinced him to participate in an art investment fund. It was all bogus, and Nicholson allegedly lost nearly $600,000 in the deal. Barbra Streisand has also been had for the same guy, but we do not know the amount of his losses.
When you have a lot of money, the important thing is to have a good financial adviser. This was not the case for Sting, since his financial adviser made him make fictitious investments. Basically, he made the singer believe that he was investing with his money, except that he was simply whistling his money. As a result, between 1980 and the mid-1990s, Sting lost $6 million. Finally, the culprit was tried and spent 6 years in prison. One for every million stolen.
10. Sylvester Stallone
He didn’t have a golden financial advisor either, since his, Kenneth Starr, had set up a Ponzi pyramid (a very well-known scam scheme) with his clients’ money to buy himself a superb shack worth 7.5 million dollars in the heart of Manhattan. But Sylvester wasn’t Kenneth Starr’s only famous victim…
11. Uma Thurman, Al Pacino, Martin Scorsese
They too were victims of this scam, the total amount of which amounted to at least $30 million. For the little anecdote, the day Kenneth Starr was caught, the FBI found him hiding in one of his closets. Then they sent him to the closet. The one with bars.