The Scorpion and the Frog: High Times and High Crimes
Book Description The True Story of One Man's Fraudulent Rise and Fall on the Wall Street of the Nineties. Salvatore Lauria was always a driven man. He wanted his share of the American Dream. During the get-rich-quick era of the 90s and the biggest bull market in history, Wall Street proved to be the ideal venue to demonstrate his many talents and to reveal some profound weaknesses. He learned his skills at reputable brokerage houses but his greed and ambition propelled him head-on into Wall Street's nests of Scorpions - shady traders, parasitic short-sellers, Italian and Russian Mafiosi - a world of stock manipulation, boiler rooms, fraud, racketeering, money laundering and violence. His quick but ill-gotten wealth admitted him into social circles that he could only dream about before his successes on the Street. He rented expensive offices, bought luxury apartments and homes, drove fast cars and enjoyed a highlife of parties and exotic travel. He found a world of sex, drugs and rock and roll that accompanied many "respected" business and political leaders. His business partners introduced him to the new Russia with its rich crime lord and "brat-pack" children. Lauria lost all sense of vulnerability and exposed himself and his family to betrayal, danger and harm. He was stung repeatedly by the Scorpions as he fought to keep his business and his wealth. Eventually, and reluctantly, he realized that his moral and ethical lapses had made him an inviting target, a kept man in the sinister world of Wall Street corruption. As he tried to fend off the Scorpions, he learned that law enforcement was already planning the demise of the mob on Wall Street. The Scorpion and The Frog is not a novel, although it reads like a fast-paced thriller. This is Lauria's personal reflection on his mercurial rise and fall that resembled a quest for the American Dream on amphetamines. Bad choices, bad people and extraordinary greed led to his downfall. His story will send a message to America's investors that the Street is rife with hucksters and manipulation, even at its most respected firms.