How on earth did anyone believe Josh Macciello?

Confession: The first thing that occurred to me while reading the LA Weekly's entertaining take-down of would-be Dodger bidder Josh Macciello was, Who the heck is Josh Macciello? I've been following the Dodger sale with some regularity and the name hadn't come up in the LAT, WSJ, or Forbes - three of the news outlets that are following the story most closely. So just to be sure, I did a Google news search under "Dodgers and Macciello" and the only thing I saw was this morning's Gene Maddaus piece (as well as the follow-up in LAO). So let's be clear: Sports radio aside, the real business media was ignoring this guy. Why? Well, probably because he comes off as such an obvious fake. From the Weekly

The financing for Macciello's bid appears to be a work in progress. Sitting at a long, dark wood dining room table, he explains that he is no longer using the gold mines, which he has touted in previous interviews. Instead, he has partnered with two gentlemen -- Myung Ho Lee and Fred Furrow -- who will put up the equity for the deal. They will take a 49 percent stake in the team, and Macciello will keep 51 percent. But Macciello makes it clear he is not using the gold to secure his 51 percent stake in the bid. So what is backing it? "There is no backing of the 51 percent," he says. "I can't get into the deal too much. The profit sharing will be in their favor." Asked why these two guys would agree to buy Macciello a baseball team, he has a ready answer: "They saw my business plan. All these up-front costs I'm paying for."

Gold mines? Mysterious Asian partner? Hard to believe anyone would have taken this stuff seriously - and yet guys like Macciello are pretty common in L.A.: Big talk, big ideas, and more often than not sketchy explanations about money. They're typically looking for an entree into Hollywood, which is the promised land for many a huckster (that appears to be how Macciello got started). All they need is a publicist and press packet and they can say pretty much anything they want - until it eventually comes apart, which it always does.

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Mark Lacter
Mark Lacter created the LA Biz Observed blog in 2006. He posted until the day before his death on Nov. 13, 2013.
Mark Lacter, business writer and editor was 59
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