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Barry Minkow

March 17, 2011 | By E. Scott Reckard and Shan Li, Los Angeles Times
Barry Minkow, a 1980s teen tycoon from Reseda whose ZZZZ Best carpet-cleaning firm turned out to be a Ponzi scheme, resigned as minister at a San Diego County church and intends to plead guilty to a charge of insider trading, according his attorney. The charge stems from a federal investigation in Florida involving a business, the Fraud Discovery Institute, that Minkow set up while guiding Community Bible Church in Mira Mesa. His idea was to reveal corporate fraud while holding short positions in the companies he exposed, allowing him to profit on declines in stock prices.
February 10, 2010 | James Rainey
Bill Lobdell made quite a name for himself in this newsroom writing about faith gone wrong. He called out crooked ministers, fraudulent faith healers and abusive priests. Now Lobdell has launched a new journalism website with a partner who once was convicted and sent to prison for a multimillion-dollar swindle. The veteran religion writer hopes to do to crooked businesses what he did to ministers who did not live up to their calling. What has many traditional journalists agog is not just that Lobdell threw in with onetime ZZZZ Best con man Barry Minkow, but what the duo, operating as iBusinessreporting.
January 19, 2009 | MICHAEL HILTZIK
The Redeemed Sinner in our popular culture is a mirror-image of the Fallen Saint; each inspires the suspicion that his transformation is never quite complete -- just as the latter's halo can never be entirely sullied by waywardness, the former's sin can never be totally expiated. This thought is prompted by the saga of former white-collar jailbird Barry Minkow, 42, who got back in the news recently by taking the stock of Lennar Corp. down 20% in a single day.
June 13, 2004 | Matthew Heller, Matthew Heller last wrote for the magazine about Utah's dietary-supplement industry.
In the auditorium of a San Diego church, pastor Barry Minkow paces the stage like a caged jungle cat, sweat saturating the back of his blue shirt, an audience of some 400 worshippers hanging on his every passionate word. He has spent the first 40 minutes of his Sunday sermon talking about damnation and redemption, about the two thieves at the crucifixion--the one who doubts Jesus and the one whom Jesus welcomes to paradise. Now he turns toward the wooden cross at the back of the stage.
March 13, 1997 | BARRY STAVRO
Barry Minkow, 30, was voted class clown by his graduating class at Cleveland High School in Reseda. In 1987 he proved that he deserved it, after his Reseda company, ZZZZ Best, collapsed like a house of cards. Minkow and his associates hoodwinked Wall Street firms, investors, accountants and lawyers through an elaborate series of cover-ups into believing that his company had won multimillion-dollar damage- cleanup contracts.
Pacing up and down the aisles like a talk-show host, Barry Minkow exhorts his audience of accountants to stop cozying up to their corporate clients. "You're perceived as the corporate cop," he tells them. But auditors aren't doing their job, he says, if they let someone like him create 20,000 phony documents and then sweet-talk them out of checking his records properly. "When the auditor comes in, he's ready to fight," Minkow says as he jumps into a boxing stance.
July 28, 1995 | From Associated Press
Barry Minkow, once the FBI poster boy for fraud, teased the audience at an FBI-sponsored seminar Thursday in Santa Monica about being as stodgy as, well, bank executives. Which is what they were, 400 strong. Minkow paced and punched the air, half comic, half revival preacher. He told of convincing banks that he was a teen-age business genius.
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