If nothing else, perhaps its name should have warned potential clients that all was not right with investment firm
and its owner.
Dana Giacchetto, the money manager who basked in the glow of the stars whose money he invested, and his firm were charged Tuesday by federal prosecutors with stealing at least $6 million from his glittering list of celebrity investors.
Clients such as
and rock group
were apparently not dissuaded from handing their money over to a firm named after the Greek mythological figure whose prophecies of doom went unheeded in ancient times.
The U.S. attorney in Manhattan and the
Securities and Exchange Commission
have leveled criminal and civil charges against Giacchetto, accusing him and his New York-based firm, Cassandra Group, of stealing the money for his and his company's benefit, of giving or loaning it to third parties to conceal the fraud.
The criminal complaint alleges that Giacchetto and the firm falsely represented to clients and potential clients that Cassandra used a conservative investment strategy and that funds in the firm's hands were especially safe because Cassandra did not take custody of client funds.
Giacchetto allegedly stole more than $6 million in client funds, primarily by fraudulently endorsing checks drawn from the funds. It alleges that he used the funds in improper ways, including paying the firm's expenses, such as the rent on its SoHo office space, dining and entertainment bills, and Giacchetto's personal credit card bills.
A message left on an answering machine at Cassandra Group was not immediately returned at press time.
Giacchetto faces up to 10 years in prison if convicted.