(Adds details about Stanulis' autobiographical film in 7th
By Emily Flitter
NEW YORK Feb 20 A man who served prison time
for conning Hollywood stars and reputedly inspired Leonardo
DiCaprio's performance in "The Wolf of Wall Street" was in
federal court on Thursday facing charges that he used a friend's
credit card to buy liquor, a plane ticket and food, according to
Dana Giacchetto, 51, a former investment advisor to
A-listers like DiCaprio and singer Michael Stipe of the rock
band R.E.M., was charged on Thursday in Manhattan federal court
with two counts of fraud. He surrendered to authorities and was
granted bail at $150,000.
Giacchetto served three years in prison in the early 2000s
for fraud after being charged with swindling millions from his
famous clients. His attorney Ronald Fischetti said his client
"absolutely denies" the latest charges.
"He doesn't understand why he has been charged," Fischetti
According to the complaint, Giacchetto made more than
$10,000 in unauthorized purchases using a credit card issued to
Stephan Stanulis of Staten Island, a former New York City police
officer who also worked as a male stripper and as a bouncer at
Giachetto's star-studded parties.
Fischetti said Stanulis assured him "he is not a victim of
When reached by phone, Stanulis declined to comment. His
publicist said Stanulis, who recently produced and starred in a
movie about his life called "Long Shot Louie," said he initially
had not understood the charges against Giacchetto.
During the 1990s, Giacchetto collected millions of dollars
from musicians, artists and actors in Hollywood, assuring them
he would invest their money and keep it safe. He became good
friends with DiCaprio, who spent the night of the 1998 Academy
Awards at Giacchetto's apartment, according to Emily White, the
author of Giacchetto's biography "You Will Make Money in Your
Sleep". That night, the blockbuster movie Titanic, in which
DiCaprio starred, won 11 Oscars.
In 2000, Giacchetto was charged with fraud after it was
revealed he had misappropriated nearly $20 million of his
clients' money. He pleaded guilty and was sentenced to just
under five years in prison. He was released after three. White,
who now works for Thomson Reuters, was also a client. She lost
"He was very enjoyable to be around until he wasn't, because
he was lying," White said.
White said she and other observers believed DiCaprio's
performance as the stockbroker-conman Jordan Belfort in the 2013
film "The Wolf of Wall Street" was inspired by his former
friendship with Giacchetto. DiCaprio's publicist did not
immediately respond to a request for comment.
According to White's book, Stanulis met Giacchetto in a bar
in New York and later moonlighted as Giacchetto's bouncer.
According to the complaint, Giacchetto now owns a food
business called Taste which makes salsa. He made purchases using
Stanulis' American Express card and had them delivered to his
apartment, which is also his business headquarters, the
Among the purchases listed in the complaint were food, wine,
dental work and a one-way ticket from Las Vegas to Newark.
(Reporting By Emily Flitter; Additional reporting by Nate
Raymond; Editing by David Gregorio)