Four years ago I spotted this article and had myself a snarky laugh.
Anthony Cutaia, who advised his radio and TV show fans on how to build wealth and handle mortgages, is seeking protection from his creditors in West Palm Beach Bankruptcy Court.
On July 24, the Boca Raton resident filed Chapter 7 while listing his assets at less than $10,000 and his debts at less than $50,000. However, the filing did not list specific assets and did not include a detailed summary of creditors.
Cutaia’s first Chapter 7 filing was in 1994. He rebounded to become one of South Florida’s well-known experts on real estate investing and mortgages, but he has been named in several lawsuits from business creditors and investors who said they lost money with him.
The same guy who dispenses financial advice on teevee and radio, and even writes a book on creating wealth, files for bankruptcy twice. You might suppose this would damage his credibility, but then, being wrong out loud doesn’t count for much in today’s society — take a look at the crop of hinds running for President. Clearly, making an ass of yourself isn’t only a plus, it’s a requirement.
Anyway, the story grew legs on a blog I followed rather closely at the time, as people claiming to be victims of Cutaia came forward with tales of wrath and woe, even evoking responses from readers identifying themselves as Cutaia’s daughter and Cutaia himself. In fact that’s where I spotted this little update:
Federal prosecutors have charged the host of a South Florida real estate talk show with defrauding investors by creating a Ponzi scheme.
Anthony F. Cutaia recruited investors for commercial real estate projects arranged by his Boca Raton-based company, CMG Property Investment Group, according to papers filed in federal court in West Palm Beach.
Cutaia turned himself in on Friday and later was released after posting a $410,000 bond, according to Alicia Valle, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office….Prosecutors don’t indicate how many investors there were or how much money they may have lost. The charges carry a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
Cutaia, 65, of Boca Raton, hosted “Talk About Mortgages and Real Estate,” a local television and radio program, which was broadcast on PAX TV Network and WSBR radio, among other stations. He also ran real estate and mortgage businesses. — Sun-Sentinel
Bernie Madoff is the gold standard for Ponzi schemes, of course, but even his spectacular crash-and-burn and public disgrace are insufficient to discourage determined serial rip-off artists, which is apparently what we’re looking at here. Allegedly, of course.
Anyway, I hope this development provides at least amusement, perhaps some vengeance or solace, and maybe even hope of financial recovery for some of the folks who unwisely entrusted their savings to him. As for the rest of us, learn a lesson: the advice you encounter on the radio or teevee free of charge is worth exactly what you pay for it. You’re better off watching reality shows or computer porn. — at least then when you’re tempted to put your hands in your pockets you can afford what you lose. And enjoy it.