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The fraud who promised to lead the Dodgers to a World Series title

Mar 15, 2012, 1:50 PM EDT


No, that headline is not about Frank McCourt.  “Fraud” is too strong a word for him.  He’s merely greedy and feckless.

No, the real fraud is a man named Josh Macciello. He appeared out of nowhere over the winter and claimed he was (a) a billionaire; and (b) was going to buy the Dodgers at auction.  He wowed fans by going on local talk radio and sitting for interviews in which he said he’s sign Prince Fielder and promised a World Series title sooner rather than later.  His story was eaten up by many. Check out this video he made. The most over-the-top snippets come from the talk show hosts and media people reacting to him.

Turns out, he is a fraud. A convicted drug dealer with no means who appears to have suckered a pretty big swath of the L.A. media that he was the real deal.

His story is told in L.A. Weekly. And it’s pretty illuminating. Not just for what it says about Macciello, but for what it says about the media covering him and fans who wanted so desperately to believe the hype:

Despite what he’s told reporter after reporter, and despite what those journalists have dutifully repeated, he does not have billions of dollars. He does not have rights to any gold mines. He is, instead, a convicted drug dealer and a huckster who has used his talents to persuade many people — not just journalists — to place their confidence in him. In his wake he has left a string of abandoned projects and broken promises.

I never heard of him before today, but when I read this I still searched the HBT archives to make sure that we didn’t get suckered too. Whew!  Probably because most Dodgers business news I pay attention to these days comes from Bill Shaikin at the L.A. Times, and he didn’t get suckered either. I hate to stereotype, but thank goodness someone was skeptical that a dude who looked like this could be a gold mine-owning billionaire.

But some weren’t. Some pretty influential people in L.A. sports media. And, based on Macciello’s Twitter feed today — he’s defending himself by claiming the story was “70-75% inaccurate — some fans out there still want to believe him too.

Crazypants, yes. But then again, if I told you five years ago that someone would bankrupt the Dodgers and drive all the fans away, you would have said that was crazy too.

  1. paulsdamnblog - Mar 15, 2012 at 2:05 PM

    He also owns a bridge in New York and some lovely property in Florida, anyone want to invest?

    • DJ MC - Mar 15, 2012 at 2:10 PM

      You forgot his brand-new planned community outside of Tucson. You know, “Oceanfront Acres Phase I and II.”

      • paulsdamnblog - Mar 15, 2012 at 2:14 PM

        I heard he’s the nephew of the King of Sweden too, so he’s got that Royal Blood in him as well.

      • marshmallowsnake - Mar 15, 2012 at 2:20 PM

        Ocean front property in AZ might not be that far away.

      • mox19380 - Mar 15, 2012 at 2:29 PM

        He’s also a Nigerian prince who would like offer anyone willing to offer up their bank account numbers millions upon millions of dollars

      • CJ - Mar 15, 2012 at 2:40 PM

        wait so I don’t know a Nigerian prince and won’t be getting a million dollars wired to my bank account? Hang on I gotta go call my bank.

    • lostsok - Mar 15, 2012 at 8:12 PM

      And in other news he came in first in the GOP primary with 38% of the vote. Turns out he’s more sincere than Newt, less crazy that Santorum and easier to relate to than Mitt…

  2. Jonny 5 - Mar 15, 2012 at 2:25 PM

    This all started one day while he was on Meth talking about his fantasy team. That’s how this sort of thing unfolds people. Meth, a bad razor, and some Bud in a can, then before you know it, you’re a billionaire bidding on a baseball team. It happens.

    • cltjump - Mar 15, 2012 at 2:30 PM

      Personal experience, Jonny?

      • Jonny 5 - Mar 15, 2012 at 3:14 PM

        What kind of loser do you think I am anyway? I’d never drink Bud in a can.

      • El Bravo - Mar 15, 2012 at 3:28 PM

        Perfect response, J5. Well almost. To clarify, you don’t drink buds, you smoke ’em…

    • natstowngreg - Mar 15, 2012 at 5:48 PM

      Only in Vegas.

  3. davidpom50 - Mar 15, 2012 at 2:31 PM

    I met Mr. Macciello at a Dodger blogger softball tournament, and he’s extremely likeable and charismatic. His excuses for every issue I raised with him ranged from possible to likely, with in depth answers. You WANT to believe him.

    As for McCourt, he’s definitely a fraud. He split off almost all of the team’s revenue sources into separate entities so that he could get around the covenants of his many loans that restricted what he could draw in salary. The “Dodgers” get no money from their own ticket sales and pay an outrageous $14 million to lease their own parking lots.

  4. Baseball Beer Burritos In That Order - Mar 15, 2012 at 2:32 PM

    It might actually be getting better. He’s currently arguing with a Frank McCourt parody account named “Not Frank McCourt”.

  5. detroitcityryda - Mar 15, 2012 at 2:49 PM

    He also discovered the pyramids in Bosnia .

  6. Max Power - Mar 15, 2012 at 3:18 PM

    I had a similar close call when I almost named a mysterious, severely burned Canadian Officer as the rightful heir presumptive to my Earldom.

    • paulsdamnblog - Mar 15, 2012 at 4:18 PM

      Did he have amnesia and forget he was British, only to be convinced he was Canadian?

  7. mtheparrothead - Mar 15, 2012 at 6:41 PM

    I think this speaks more to the sad state of American journalism. How the hell do you not vet this guys sources or do a little background check before believing every word he says? Wait. That’s how we got a president.

    • jimeejohnson - Mar 15, 2012 at 8:43 PM

      Yet Fox Fake News backed Obama’s opponent, and we all know how that worked out (we got Bush Jr. in sheep’s clothing).

      • JBerardi - Mar 15, 2012 at 9:18 PM

        Ummm ….wha?

    • emic13 - Mar 17, 2012 at 1:35 PM

      please tell me you’re not one of the many naive idiots out there that actually believe Obama was not born in the states…it’s bad journalism that started these partisan rumors in the first place.

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