Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Hot Tubs and Dinar

This is an older story from long before I started this blog, but I feel that it's important to share these stories for the benefit of those who haven't been around so long and aren't aware of just how many crooks there are in the dinar world.

"Forty-eight year old Steve Todd Lanni of Houston appeared before U. S. District Judge Keith Ellison this past Thursday. He pleaded guilty to defrauding forty-six customers of $191,000.00 in a scam perpetrated on eBay. Under the guise of his company, Factory Direct Spas, Lanni sold hot tubs on eBay throughout the U. S. and Europe. Lanni’s business was located near I-10 and Beltway 8 in west Houston.
Lanni began selling units on eBay in 2004. At that time, he purchased the tubs from an out of state manufacturer. In early 2005, Lanni stopped purchasing tubs and began making them in a warehouse in Houston. He advertised them on eBay at fifty to seventy percent below retail value. He would require customers to wire payment prior to delivery to his bank accounts or to send a cashier’s check, money order or personal check by overnight delivery before production would begin on the hot tub. He would then promise delivery on the unit within six to eight weeks. After that time period would pass, he not only failed to deliver the tubs, but he would provide excuses as to why they were not delivered. He even used Hurricanes Katrina and Rita as excuses for causing interruptions in production. Lanni is accused of using the money he received to pay for his lavish lifestyle that included trips around the world, for visits to strip clubs, for expensive cigars, clothing, and massages, and for dining at expensive Houston area restaurants, spending as much as $300.00 dollars per day on meals.
An investigation was opened following complaints filed with the Houston Police Department and the Internet Crimes Complaint Center and was conducted jointly with the FBI’s Houston Area Cybercrimes Task Force and the U. S. Postal Inspection Service.
Lanni faces up to twenty years in federal prison and a $250,000.00 fine along with up to three years supervised probation upon release. He was also ordered to pay restitution to his customers. He was released on bond pending sentencing on February 23, 2010."  

Who is Steve Todd Lanni? Well according to this post at Dinar Outcast he's the owner of the dinar site Stardogger.  (Note: He was the owner at the time it was written.  Stardogger has had a new owner since mid-2010 as is noted below in ADDENDUM.)

"Some things have come to my attention that I feel I must share with you.
As most of you know me, I will not put out false information. I have struggled with sending this out but after I heard stardogger aka Steven Todd Lanni, last night on his trust conference call, tell all of the fine people on that call to send him (stardogger) all of their personal information and that he would forward it on to the attorney I felt that I have to let everyone of you know who stardogger really is.
First all of the information that I am sharing with you is public information and is factual and the documentation is there to confirm it.
Stardogger is Steven Todd Lanni from Houston Tx. This has been confirmed by people that personally know him. I will let the documentation speak for the rest of the story.
I am posting some links below and I have also attached a zip file with some additional information for you, however you can do your own google search and find out much more.
There is also a public file from the Texas Department of Criminal Justice that shows where Steve's brother Kenneth has recently been sentenced to 5 years for the same types of crimes.
The reason I am doing this is that I do not want to see anyone of you harmed in any way." 

So once again it seems that a lowlife douchebag crook was able to emerge as a leader in the dinar community.  A fitting reminder to always be vigilant, cautious, and skeptical to the claims of people you don't know who are nothing more than faceless posters on dinar forums.

11/18/2011 ADDENDUM: I just received this email from the current owner of Stardogger

My name is M____, owner of stardogger.net/com. I purchased our site from the crook Steve Lanny that you have made reference to in your blog. I want you to know that we run a clean..non-pumping Dinar site, we only provide legitimate info for our members to review and suggest that they decide for themselves what is accurate, or trustworthy. Steve has no affiliation or connection to our site what-so-ever. I have personally banned all 13 of his usernames and he is not welcome in any way on our site. I have owned this site for better than a year and a half now, but I find myself constantly plagued by his bad name and wrong doings, please reflect that in your blog and effort to "call out" the pumping bullshitters. I applaud your efforts to stop the false bs that is portrayed as fact by these pumpers. Thank you for your time and I hope that you will set the record straight for me. Take care.

Sincerely, M___, aka dbcooper

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