A former highly-rated broker to the stars, Dana Giacchetto, has been found dead in his Manhattan apartment on Sunday. Giacchetto, who once counted top Hollywood stars like Leonardo DiCaprio, Matt Damon, Ben Affleck, and Cameron Diaz among his clients, fell from grace after he was convicted of fraud about 15 years ago.
According to the New York Daily News, the police have revealed that Giacchetto was found on his bed foaming at the mouth by his roommate. Paramedics pronounced him dead a few minutes after noon on Sunday. He was 53-years-old.
The cause of death of the former broker to the stars has not been ascertained. However, sources told Page Six that Giacchetto was hospitalized after overdosing on drugs about a week before he was found dead. According to a friend, he was taking pills and alcohol.
Sources told the New York Daily News that Giacchetto had been partying heavily on Friday night during the debut of Steve Stanulis’ documentary Legends of Freestyle at a club in Manhattan. He allegedly exchanged words and briefly scuffled with security guards at the club because he was prevented from getting back inside after going out to meet someone. The former broker to the stars is said to have left the club shortly after the incident.
Giacchetto rose to fame in Hollywood in the 90s and rubbed shoulders with big-name stars and musicians with the success of his company, the Cassandra Group, Inc. According to Vanity Fair, he is known to have bragged at some point that his company managed up to $400 million to $1 billion worth of investment for his celebrity clients. The then-acclaimed broker to the stars was known for his advocacy of low-risk investment in blue chip stocks and corporate bonds.
Things went awry for Giacchetto after his clients started pulling their investment from the company in 1999. Michael Ovitz and Chase Manhattan Bank are among the high profile affiliates that severed ties with the broker to the stars. According to the Los Angeles Times, some clients chose to withdraw their investment from Cassandra Group because they were not satisfied with the services of the company.
In 2001, Giacchetto was found guilty of running a Ponzi scheme and willfully defrauding his clients of up to $10 million, according to The Hollywood Reporter. He was sentenced to nearly five years in prison but got out in 2003.
In 2014, the former broker to the stars was again caught in the grip of the law. He was sentenced to two years of probation after he was found guilty of using the credit card of his former bouncer to make unauthorized transactions, according to Reuters.
Giacchetto, who developed a friendship with many Hollywood stars and A-listers, is said to have been particularly close to DiCaprio. According to Vanity Fair, DiCaprio stayed in Giacchetto’s apartment in SoHo for some time between 1998 and 1999. Author Emily White, who wrote a biography about the broker of the stars, claims that DiCaprio spent the night after the 1998 Academy Awards at Giacchetto’s place.
The broker of the stars is thought to have been the inspiration behind DiCaprio’s widely applauded performance in The Wolf of Wall Street, Reuters reported. DiCaprio and other Hollywood stars are yet to release any statements on the death of the former stock broker.
Giacchetto is known to have two sons with ex-girlfriend Allegra Bosco, according to the Daily Mail. After his stint as a stock broker, Giacchetto created a canned food company, Taste Group.
Despite leaving the entertainment business, Giacchetto continued to hang out with stars. The former broker for the stars posted photos of himself and Hunger Games star Raiko Bowman on Twitter last year.
Stanilus has mourned the death of the former broker who he described as a “longtime friend,” according to the New York Daily News.
“This one really hit me,” he said.
[Photo by Robert Mecea/AP Photo]