Do you trust me to give good, solid financial and consumer advice? Be careful with that trust!
Years ago, I told a story on the air about a talk show host in Colorado who went to jail because he used his show as a front. He was pretending to give financial advice, but what he was doing instead was using the mic to solicit customers for his con game. Before he was done, he broke the hearts and wallet of many by stealing millions of dollars.
Now history has repeated itself. The Sun Sentinel reports Anthony F. Cutaia, a TV and radio talk show host in South Florida, has been sentenced to more than four years in prison. Cutaia stole $1.56 million from listeners and viewers that trusted him.
Cutaia claimed he was using his financial expertise to help people capitalize on the real estate boom and bust. But instead, he took money from his “clients” and blew it on casinos, trips, cars and houses, among other things.
During sentencing, Cutaia asked for leniency because he believed he could make the money he stole back to repay those duped because of his “innate ability to be successful in business.” Yeah, right!
What I have the privilege of doing on this microphone is very special. You extend trust to me. But whether it’s me or somebody else, don’t just take our words as what you should do. Take it as an opinion. That’s what it is. I or anybody else could very easily be wrong.
Use what you hear from me as a source of info. Let it prompt you to take a second look at how you’re doing things, or to get into action with doing something for your future you know you should have done but you didn’t get around to.
But don’t just take what you hear from me and say, “Oh, I heard it on Clark’s show and I’m going to do it.” Say instead, “Well, I heard this and I’m going to check it out.”