Ever since Galleon Group founder Raj Rajaratnam went down for insider trading, and one of his biggest accomplices, Danielle Chiesi went down with him, we've been using the picture at left of the latter (one of the few available). And every single time we've done so, we've immediately received a flurry of emails imploring us to find a better one, not simply because the photo in question hurts some people on a deep level but because, according to the senders, Danielle Chiesi was once super hot. "Like insanely hot," more than a few told us, begging that we find a replacement because they'd already told their co-workers how good looking she was, and credibility was on the line. Regrettably, despite putting in a few minutes of hard work Google Image searching, we were unable to find find any evidence that these guys could bring to the table in an effort to prove they did not have a thing for the Bridget Nielsen (Flavor Flav Years) of the finance industry. Today, they are saved. Bloomberg reports that Danielle Chiesi was named Miss Southern Tier Teenager in 1981. Unfortunately, Bloomberg did not include a photo of DC at the time but no matter-- apparently one of her wearing a tiara exists and while we wait for someone to find it and send it here, let's get to know the beauty queen a bit better. (For those of you looking to make a splash, consider taking a page from Chiesi's playabook.)
Starting with the fishnets.
Chiesi wore short skirts and low-cut tops, according to people who saw her over the years. When she worked at New York brokerage Furman Selz LLC in the early 1990s, she would show up in a tight red suit with red fishnet stockings, says a person who worked there at the time.
Which some people seem to have had a problem with.
Chiesi used her sexuality to build sources at male-dominated tech companies, says Deborah Stapleton, president of Stapleton Communications Inc., an investor relations company in Palo Alto, California. "It amazes me that grown, wealthy, successful, hardworking men fell for that," Stapleton says. Chiesi was proud of her network, too. "She bragged about her contacts in public," Stapleton says. "She was like a teenager who wanted everyone to know she knew some rock star."
The knockers with a heart of gold.
"Danielle was really social, gregarious and popular," says Stacey Maggio, a sorority sister. "She was a knockout with a big heart."
One ploy was to go barhopping with a group, and then peel someone off to talk to on the dance floor, says a person who attended conferences with her. On a 2007 boat ride around Manhattan hosted by Galleon, Chiesi danced suggestively, according to an attendee. On another occasion, Rajaratnam hired country singer Kenny Rogers to perform at a party. Chiesi brought her mother and was more restrained, an attendee says.
"Source building" is what we're calling it now.
Mark Kurland, managing general partner at New Castle, encouraged Chiesi's source building, according to government wiretaps.
"This is what I think you should do more of, what you're doing more of now," Kurland, 60, who was also arrested, said on a phone call taped on Aug. 22, 2008. "You know, get more relationships. Why don't you just worry about getting the information, and don't worry about the numbers."
Despite the allegations, Chiesi will dance again.
"She is the most honest person in the world," Danielle's mother Gloria says. "She is beautiful inside and out."