Steve Stevens is a big-time Las Vegas handicapper with VIP Sports. That's what Steve Stevens and CNBC say, anyway, as they prepare for "Money Talks," a "docu-soap" ("reality show" in other words) that will focus on the company of Stevens, the handicapper himself, and the agents and clients who risk big money on sports for what is hyped as a 71.5% chance at the right pick, thanks to ol' Steve Stevens himself.
The issue? Steve Stevens isn't Steve Stevens, apparently. Wager Minds ran a thorough debunking of this entire show and the star of the program yesterday, pointing out that this VIP Sports Las Vegas company is registered to a Darin Notaro, who happens to look exactly like Steve Stevens. Darin Notaro has quite a history:
Well, there's a Darin Notaro in Las Vegas who was on probation for six federal felony counts of telemarketing fraud by wire when he was arrested for his role in a 1999 telemarketing scam that bilked elderly victims out of more than $234,000. Notaro was ordered to pay back $12,230 and sentenced to one year in jail. At the time of that arrest, Notaro was 25 years old. Two years later, at age 27, Notaro was arrested for another telemarketing scam where, again, he targeted elderly people. Oh, and Notaro, who has at least one confirmed alias of Darin Sasser, was arrested for a previous telemarketing scam at the age of 24.
A couple of days ago, Todd Fuhrman, a former oddsmaker at Caesar's Palace, says that nobody has heard of "Steve Stevens":
"CNBC calls this handicapper well known. Yet, oddly enough no one, and I mean no one, in the sports betting community I speak with daily knows who this guy is."
The "sizzle reel," which features a lot of "Stevens" colorfully saying "motherfucker" and "fuck" and "fuckin'" and giving us awesome bad boy street lingo that makes us believe this is a confident man (confidence man?) who knows his motherfucking fucking shit, motherfucker, has Stevens claiming he hits "70%, 69%" of his picks. CNBC's video editors then say it's 71.5%.
The odds of that, according to Sports Insights, are about one trillion to one.
Then there's the connection to Floyd Mayweather. Turn Left Productions, which helped produce Mayweather's absurd "30 Days in May" special for Showtime Sports, is also a producer for "Money Talks." And Darin Notaro was once called the "manager" of Mayweather's Philthy Rich Records, and was seen in "30 Days" as "Darin Notaro, Friend/Local Businessman." VIP Sports Las Vegas has offices just a couple of doors down from the Mayweather Boxing Club:
Certainly, it does not appear right now as if Mayweather is part of some great big scam going on, and it does appear that Notaro/Stevens is just a guy running a business, however he got there, and no, he shouldn't be held to what he did at age 25 forever. From what anyone can tell, he paid the penalties for that, and CNBC says they know about "Steve Stevens'" criminal background, and that they believe people will want to see this show, which doesn't seem like the real mission for a news organization, but then that ship probably sailed a long time ago.
The problem is that there are some major transparency issues here. He's called "well-known," but he isn't. The hype of a 71.5% success rate have already been shot down as ridiculous at best, or in the words of Bob Voulgaris, the claims of "a complete scam artist."