Only in the acquisitive 1980s could a business scam such as 22-year-old Minkow's succeed, asserts Domanick, who covered the story for Los Angeles magazine. The author's carefully researched, grudgingly admiring account is enlivened with vivid sketches of Minkow's fellow con men and those they deceived. Domanick adroitly disentangles the complex web spun by Minkow, the brazenly confident, persuasive Los Angeleno who founded a rug-cleaning and restoration company which he parlayed illegally into a multimillion-dollar business, drumming up loans and support from major Wall Street investment bankers and underwriters, accounting and legal firms and a public relations company--and wooing the media with his plush offices and glamorous personal aura. Minkow's caper ended when a Los Angeles Times story and subsequent revelations exposed him, leading to a trial where his lawyers' attempt to portray him as a mob ``puppet'' failed and he was sentenced to 25 years in federal prison. Photos not seen by PW. (Oct.)
Domanick, a writer for Los Angeles magazine, has researched and written an intriguing and readable account of Barry Minkow and the investment scam he ran with his carpet cleaning company, ZZZZ Best. The case received wide coverage in 1987 and 1988 in the Wall Street Journal and weekly business and news magazines and was featured on a segment of 60 Minutes . What makes this work even more interesting is the era in which this and many other fraud cases occurred. The way in which banks, accounting firms, and rich and poor individuals alike allowed themselves to be duped by this particular ``get rich quick'' scheme helps one understand the psychology of the times in which far too many of these scams occurred. Recommended for most business collections.-- Michael D. Kathman, St. John's Univ., Collegeville, Minn.