Ponzi Schemer/UM Football Team's Liason To The Hooker World Puts Colleagues To Shame

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Who is the greatest Ponzi schemer of our generation? If we're evaluating on the basis of sheer size, Bernie Madoff is the obvious answer. But as many of you know, size can only get you so far in life- it's what you do with what you've got that matters. And Berns really didn't do anything all that exciting with his ill-gotten gains. He bought a bunch of homes, yes, but his primary residence faced Lexington and from what we can tell, he didn't buy anything that interesting with his cash. Same goes for most other scams- funds are spent on cars, maybe some jewelry, maybe some prostitutes, maybe some Teddy Bears. Frankly, from an investor stand point, it's a little insulting- if you're going to rip people off, at least do something real with the money. Make a name for yourself. Penetrate a community like never before. Follow in the footsteps of Nevin Shapiro.

Nevin, and you can quote us on this, became the frontrunner for greatest Ponzi schemer of our time when, from a jail cell, he chose to fuck the University of Miami football program raw, not unlike the players who he arranged prostitutes for over an 8 year period. How did he claim such a tittle? What steps should budding Ponzi schemers hoping to make a name for themselves be taking notes on?

After hours of research, we've distilled it down to ten essential points.

1. Start a scam of a not entirely insignificant size. While we did say that size isn't all that matters, if you're going to make an impact, you need a good amount of funds. Doesn't have to be Bernie numbers, but at least in the hundreds of millions. Shapiro's was $930 million.

2. Identify a target which you can blow money on in order to buy friends. For Shapiro, it was the Miami Hurricanes. As a young boy living in the area, he fell in love with the U and had a dream of one day becoming a professional jock sniffer. With the money from the Ponz, he knew his moment had come and became a team booster in 2001.

3. Remember that any Ponzi schemer can cut a few checks to charity and then vanish from these peoples' lives. Make a promise to yourself that you're not just going to be there, you're going to be their go-to Sugar Daddy and all that that entails.

"Luther Campbell was the first uncle who took care of players before I got going,” Shapiro said, referring to the entertainer notorious for supplying cash to Miami players in the 1980s and 1990s. “His role was diminished by the NCAA and the school, and someone needed to pick up that mantle. That someone was me. He was ‘Uncle Luke’, and I became ‘Little Luke.’"

4. Be flexible on prostitute situations.

Shapiro named 39 Miami players or prospective recruits who he says received prostitution paid for by the booster. As for Shapiro, he said his role in arranging for prostitutes encountered various cosmetic changes over time. From 2002 to 2003, the booster said he used a handful of hotels to either make the services of prostitutes available to individual players, or throw “parties” where services were made available to multiple players. The booster said he would use connections with escorts or at local strip clubs to arrange for the availability of women. In individual situations, he would set up a player with a hotel room and have a woman sent to their location. In group settings, Shapiro said he would use the Mercury Hotel in South Beach, where he would purchase multiple rooms where array of women would be made available to a large group of players. The rooms were typically registered under the alias “Teddy Dupay” – a reference to the former University of Florida point guard whose 5-foot-9 stature and features were similar to the 5-foot-5 Shapiro...Shortly after the purchase of Shapiro’s $1.6 million yacht in the spring of 2003, the booster said he stopped convening larger scale “parties” and began offering prostitutes for individual players on his boat or in hotel rooms...Said Shapiro: “In 2002 and 2003 we were really rocking it for a while and it was just out of control. But I decided to get away from the regular Mercury Hotel situations. I was getting too old for that kind of thing, and I had the boat for prostitution situations. I still set up guys at hotels with individual-type things, but I never really used the Mercury after getting the boat.”

5. Know how to keep the mouths that you are feeding hungry for more.

Shapiro he had a number of individual payouts for “hit of the game” and “big plays.” He also put bounties on specific players, including Florida Gators quarterback Tim Tebow and a three-year standing bounty on Seminoles quarterback Chris Rix from 2002 to 2004, offering $5,000 to any player who knocked him out of a game. “We pounded the (expletive) out of that kid,” Shapiro said of Rix. “Watch the tape of those games. You’ll see so many big hits on him. Guys were all going after that $5,000 in cash. [Jon] Vilma tried to kill him – just crushed him – a couple of times trying to get that $5,000. And he almost got it, too.”

6. Remember that the way to a man's heart is through his stomach and provide snacks.

Shapiro often invited players to his home to watch sports, shoot pool, or just relax. And he stocked the house with food, drinks and liquor that were readily available to guests.

7. Realize that people will be just as happy being treated to a $100 steak as they will siting next to strangers while a Japanese man dices shrimp

Meals were another consistent staple of benefits provided by Shapiro, including meals at Prime 112, Grazie, Prime Italian, Benihana and other establishments.

8. Make a difference in someone's life.

In one instance, Shapiro described taking a player to the Pink Pony strip club and paying for a dancer to engage in sex with the athlete. In the ensuing weeks, Shapiro said the dancer called one of his security providers and informed him that the player had gotten her pregnant during the incident. Shapiro said he gave the dancer $500 to have an abortion performed, without notifying the player of the incident.“I was doing him a favor,” the booster said. “That idiot might have wanted to keep [the baby].”

9. Don't be afraid to tell people how you really feel, especially the guy who might take issue with your prostie parties.

During the final game in the Orange Bowl in 2007, with the Hurricanes being embarrassed 31-0 at the half against Virginia, Shapiro, intoxicated, said he confronted Miami’s head of compliance, David Reed. According to a witness to the event, an incensed Shapiro was stalking through the Orange Bowl press box at halftime when he spotted Reed. In a rage, Shapiro began cursing at the compliance director, calling him a “sissy” and other derogatory names, while attempting to draw him into a fight. In Shapiro’s mind, Reed was part of the problem in a slumping Miami program, largely for what Shapiro thought was too much oversight on relationships between players and boosters. And in Shapiro’s mind, that was worth fighting picking a fistfight with the head of compliance in a crowded press box.

10. When the entire thing comes crashing down and you find out no one really cares about you- not the guys who you hooked up with hookers, not the guys who you performed abortions for, not even the guys who you treated to beautiful meals at Benihana, do the only thing a guy with a lot of time on his hands and nothing to lose does- blow the entire thing up. Come at them with fury and vindictiveness that would put a psycho ex-lover to shame.

In 15 prison interviews with and hundreds of telephone and email interactions, Shapiro laid out a multitude of reasons for blowing the whistle on his illicit booster activity.Chief is his feeling that after spending eight years forging what he thought were legitimate friendships with players, he was abandoned by many of the same Miami athletes he treated so well. Now feeling outcast, the booster said his goal is to rip away the façade of ‘The U’, and reveal an ugly truth about one of the country’s most celebrated college football programs.

Renegade Miami football booster spells out illicit benefits to players [YS]

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