Guilty Scammer Got Over $3M Selling Fake Ferrari Build Slots
If you want to order a new Ferrari, there are more hoops to go through than a circus tiger. And you need to fit a certain profile before even doing that. But what if you could pay someone to get you a slot on the Ferrari build list? And not only that, but he can get you a slot for a limited-edition model. Even many owners can’t get on that list.
How did this Ferrari scam work?
Dan Lesin can, or at least he said he could until he plead guilty to federal wire fraud charges. He made millions of dollars scamming collectors anxious for the next limited-edition car. An involved scheme selling fake Ferrari SP build slots came crashing down this week.
Now, he’s facing 20 years in prison, plus paying restitution to the victims he scammed. He’ll be sentenced right after the first of the year. His lies about his background and his high-rolling fronts gave him a front seat to some of the wealthiest collectors with the money to get whatever they want, except to get on that list.
Did his scam sound convincing?
He lured collectors in telling them he had longtime connections with the iconic company. According to federal charges, he made some wild claims. Lesin said he and his family “have collectively owned some 75 Ferraris, and they have a strong and longstanding relationship with Ferrari.”
He’d tell prospective buyers that this meant he could sidestep the typical waiting process. Getting a Ferrari Monza was easy and relatively quick for him and his family members. He said he was the son of oligarchs, or he made his millions from creating gambling software. And he polished that phony reputation by booking expensive hotel suites, only to grind the hotel for large discounts.
Did he look like someone who had those connections?
“I’ve heard some crazy stories about him, saying he paid $15,000 a night for a presidential suite and then having a rally organizer confirm that he actually was spending $2,000 and tried to upgrade at the desk,” travel agent David Eisen told The Drive. “I think that was part of his motive, to create the perception.”
Things cooked along fine until he found it necessary to start proving his stories with build sheets. That’s when he started making forgeries. Authorities charge that he received $400,000 in payments, loans, and other funds using his Ferrari, which he didn’t own, as collateral.
According to federal charges, Lesin took in wire transfers totaling $3 million. The charges are only a part of his current crime problems. Civil suits are piling up, already totaling more than $2 million. So far. This past Wednesday, he admitted in court all of it was a lie.