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Former adviser to the stars hit with fraud charges

Feb 20, 2014 @ 6:59 pm

By Darla Mercado

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Former financial adviser to the stars Dana Giacchetto was charged with fraud charges in federal court in Manhattan on Thursday, facing allegations that he fraudulently spent more than $10,000 on purchases using someone else's credit card.

The criminal complaint was filed by Mark Ballantyne, a police detective in North Arlington, N.J., in the Southern District of New York last December and unsealed on Thursday. Mr. Giacchetto, who managed money for celebrities including Leonardo DiCaprio and Cameron Diaz, was granted bail on a $150,000 bond and will be living with his parents in Boston, according to Ron Fischetti, the ex-adviser's attorney.

“He's innocent,” Mr. Fischetti said of his client. “We saw the complaint for the first time today, and, quite frankly, I don't understand it. My client doesn't either.”

The fraud charges stem back to February 2013 through the present. An unnamed man claimed that Mr. Giacchetto fraudulently used his American Express card to foot the bill for airline services, food and alcohol deliveries, moving company services and dental work, according to the complaint.

Mr. Ballantyne, in the complaint, says that the New York City-based dentist who performed the dental work had received the American Express credit card number from Mr. Giacchetto and identified him from a photograph. The detective also says that a review of the records belonging to a New York City-based online delivery service show that at least a dozen charges were made to the alleged victim's credit card. The charges were for goods that were delivered last January and February to an address that the delivery company has listed as Mr. Giacchetto's residence, according to the complaint.

Altogether, the fraudulent credit card charges add up to $10,405.58, according to the complaint.

This is not Mr. Giacchetto's first encounter with the law. Back in 2000, he was charged with pilfering close to $10 million from his roster of A-list clients to cover restaurant bills and airline tickets. Hollywood luminaries Mr. Giacchetto worked with at the time included Matt Damon and Leonardo DiCaprio.

After pleading guilty to securities fraud charges in 2000, he was sentenced to 57 months in prison the following year.

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