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Barry Minkow

July 26, 1987
I have one comment to make about James Flanigan's July 12th column, "Once Admired, Entrepreneurs Face Skeptics"--We sure do jump to conclusions quickly, don't we? Although I can see where entrepreneurs such as Barry Minkow, founder of ZZZZ Best, will now have to face "skeptics" (for good reason), Flanigan's closing remarks were truly disappointing. The closing of the column said that "phonies like Minkow" shouldn't make us lose sight of the pioneer spirit that America has over and above any other country.
Like other scoundrels caught red-handed, convicted con man Barry Minkow says he has renounced crime and found Jesus--and he's banking on his dramatic conversion from Judaism to make a comeback. Sentenced to 25 years in prison in connection with one of the largest Wall Street scams ever, the founder of the ZZZZ Best carpet-cleaning company in the San Fernando Valley may be paroled from federal prison as early as next July, after serving about a third of his term.
May 22, 1987 | DANIEL AKST, Times Staff Writer
James D. Richman said he charged $100 worth of carpet cleaning while living in Santa Monica, but he got billed for $1,790 on his Visa card statement. Barbara Lee of Westminster paid by check but wrote her Visa number on top. Sure enough, she said, her Visa card was billed for more than $1,600. Then there was Lucille Frost of Santa Ana. She was slapped with $1,389.50 in Visa charges and $1,710.57 in Mastercard charges--all for $75 worth of carpet cleaning. What do these people have in common?
June 21, 1988
Carpet-cleaning entrepreneur Barry Minkow refused to enter a plea Monday to a new fraud indictment stemming from the collapse of his Reseda company, ZZZZ Best, because he wants to challenge the validity of the charges, his attorney said. Defense attorney David Kenner alleged after the federal court hearing that prosecutors dropped racketeering charges in a bid to "tailor the indictment to prevent the truth and the defense from coming out."
October 25, 1988 | From United Press International
Carpet-cleaning entrepreneur Barry Minkow, who is on trial on charges of securities fraud, admitted today that his company, ZZZZ Best, was built on lies. Hanging his head and speaking in a near-whisper on the first day of the defense case, Minkow, 22, admitted that he bilked banks and investors out of millions of dollars worth of loans and stock offerings. Minkow decided to testify shortly after suffering a serious setback in his defense theory that mobsters made him perpetuate the fraud. U.S.
January 7, 1988
Congressional investigators plan to open hearings Jan. 27 into allegations that the defunct ZZZZ Best carpet cleaning firm of Reseda was used by elements of organized crime. Two staff members from the House subcommittee on oversight and investigations, chaired by Rep. John D. Dingell (D-Mich.), have been investigating the charges, according to the panel's counsel, Michael Barrett.
January 18, 1989
A Reseda gardener accused of helping two others launder nearly $500,000 in ZZZZ Best corporate funds through Las Vegas casinos during the waning days of Barry Minkow's carpet cleaning empire was sentenced Tuesday to 30 days in a halfway house.
February 28, 1989 | KIM MURPHY, Times Staff Writer
A former weightlifter--who Barry Minkow said threatened and beat him into staging an elaborate fraud at his ZZZZ Best Carpet Cleaning Co.--was sentenced Monday to three years in federal prison. Daniel Krowpman, who claimed he was just another of Minkow's victims, also was ordered to serve five years probation and pay a $5,000 fine for helping generate a series of fraudulent financial documents that helped carry off the multimillion-dollar swindle. "I never meant to hurt anyone," he told U.S.
June 7, 1987
Has the reverent Los Angeles Times stooped to the category of the weekly tabloids? My reference is to the recent story in the Business section citing questionable activities of ZZZZ Best Co., which occurred more than two years ago ("Behind 'Whiz Kid' Is a Trail of False Credit Card Billings," May 22). Barry Minkow, founder and chief executive of ZZZZ Best, has admitted to his past poor judgment in selecting subcontractors. Overcharges were repaid, and ZZZZ Best absorbed the losses.
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