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Born to Steal: When the Mafia Hit Wall Street | [Gary Weiss]

Born to Steal: When the Mafia Hit Wall Street

During Wall Street's last big bull market, there were brokers in $3,000 suits, billion-dollar IPO's, and 30-year-olds making $100,000 a month. And then there was Louis Pasciuto, who came from Staten Island at the age of 19 and discovered one indelible truth about himself: He was born to steal. This is the astounding, true story of the rise and fall of this fast-talking, street-smart wiseguy, as well as the insidious ways the Mob infiltrates, then controls, Wall Street.
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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.

©2003 Gary Weiss; (P)2003 Time Warner AudioBooks, A Division of the AOL Time Warner Book Group

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)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.9 (74 )
5 star
 (24)
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4.0 (9 )
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4.1 (9 )
5 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Steve Van Nuys, CA, United States 09-20-03
    Steve Van Nuys, CA, United States 09-20-03 Member Since 2001
    HELPFUL VOTES
    162
    ratings
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    217
    28
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    1
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    "a great listen"

    This is one of my favorite types of audio books -- interesting, very well read, easy to follow and listen to over several interrupted sessions... and compelling. I'm not saying it's perfect. And it's abridged, which I don't usually prefer. But, if you like true crime, it's the kind of book where you don't mind getting in the car to do some errands because you have this fun read to keep you company. I might add once again that Frank Whayly does an incredible job, both of narration and of capturing the lead character.

    9 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Scott Arroyo Grande, CA, USA 10-28-04
    Scott Arroyo Grande, CA, USA 10-28-04 Member Since 2003
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    5
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    1
    Overall
    "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.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Casey Grover, MO, USA 11-14-03
    Casey Grover, MO, USA 11-14-03
    HELPFUL VOTES
    9
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    3
    3
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    "Good story, bad language"

    This was a very interesting story. Not that it was right, but certainly interesting. My one and only complaint is that some particular words are repeaded excessively. Words I won't repeat, but I could certainly stand NOT to hear. Oh well, no book is perfect.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer Nashua, NH USA 04-01-06
    Amazon Customer Nashua, NH USA 04-01-06 Member Since 2002
    HELPFUL VOTES
    24
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    78
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    "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.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Greg Lake Charles, LA, United States 02-04-13
    Greg Lake Charles, LA, United States 02-04-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
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    2
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    "A truly enjoyable story for anyone that trades."
    If you could sum up Born to Steal in three words, what would they be?

    Open Your Eyes


    What was the most compelling aspect of this narrative?

    I actually felt like the person telling the story had done what he was talking about. He tells the story well and it was very easy to listen to.


    What does Frank Whaley bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Frank brings an incredible amount of emotion in his speaking style, not monotone and definitely not boring.


    If you could give Born to Steal a new subtitle, what would it be?

    A Hustler's guide to selling stocks.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Johnny Salinas, CA, USA 09-05-05
    Johnny Salinas, CA, USA 09-05-05
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    4
    2
    Overall
    "Strong, exciting well read drama . . ."

    The rise and fall of a young fast talking sales man addicted to easy money and the perks of influence is at the core of this book. It is a well acted drama that is enticing and provocative. It provides an in depth look into the seedy ugly side of wall street in the 1990s. The book using alot of profanity that may seem over the top to some. As you hear Lewis spiral out of control you can't help but feel a little sorry for him and at times depressed. This is a book that holds interest as an audio page turner; full of humor, drama, money, and intrigue.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-6 of 6 results
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  • BDM
    Germany
    12/1/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A gripping read - thoroughly enjoyable"

    The lead charachter Louis creates a love hate relationship with the reader. He starts from humble origins and makes is big as a crook on the dark side of wall st. The insights he provides make for an unputdownale read and give you and understanding of the types that people let manage their money. Worth the investment of time and money - a thoroughly recommended rollercoaster ide worth taking.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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