YouTube is full of rich kids who love to use the video-sharing platform to brag about their wealth, show off their insane collection of exotic cars, pull-off crazy stunts in the name of getting likes and subscribers, and sell the illusion of a decadent lifestyle and its perks to the ignorant masses. A 24-years-old YouTuber and car collector Daniel Lesin is one of them who managed to impress everyone with his jaw-dropping high-end supercars, including Ferraris. Lesin arrived at the New Jersey supercar scene several years ago claiming to be a Russian oligarch’s son with billions of dollars at his disposal. A regular at Cars and Coffee meets, drives, and other events, Lesin became well-known amongst supercar owners in a very short period. At one point, he even claimed that he and his family collectively owned a whopping 75 Ferraris, which earned him a special relationship with the iconic Italian manufacturer. However, it all turned out to be nothing but a web of lies. Lesin’s reality was revealed when the FBI came knocking at his door in June and arrested the so-called billionaire.
The conman and the seemingly unobtanium Ferraris
In case you’re wondering how the FBI got involved in the case of someone pretending to be a billionaire, then let me tell you that this story is more interesting than a lot of movies that I’ve lately seen. Lesin has been charged with committing approximately $3 million in wire fraud by selling Ferrari Monza SP allocations he allegedly never had.
The Ferrari Monza SP1 and SP2 are limited-production supercars that were introduced in 2018 as the first two models of the manufacturer’s hyper-exclusive “Icona” series. Inspired by some of the most iconic Ferrari creations from the past, the Monza SP supercars were offered only to the most loyal patrons of the Italian marque. Which meant a lot of people were unable to get their hands on them even if when were readily willing to shell out million-plus dollars. According to a report by The Drive, the 24-years-old YouTuber took advantage of this and fraudulently sold Ferrari Monza SP allocations to several victims.
An elaborate plan to dupe wealthy buyers
Lesin successfully faked the life of a trust-fund kid which involved private jet travel, expensive watches, and super-expensive cars. This made a lot of unsuspecting victims fall for the illusion and believed Lesin when he claimed to have Ferrari Monza SP allocations for sale. He would often be seen driving around in exotic supercars such as the Ferrari F12tdf, a Ferrari 458 Speciale, a Lamborghini Murciélago SV, and even a Porsche 918, which lent credibility to his story.
He had set up several LLCs to sell Ferraris he either claimed to have an allocation for or claimed to already own, according to court documents. Lesin created false documents and fake vehicle build sheets showing the specifications of Ferrari vehicles. He even made buyers sign a contract not to talk about the deal which helped him hide the fraud for almost half a decade. “Due to the sensitivity of the secondary market and resale of limited production Ferrari vehicles, it [sic] is hereby agreed that the buyer or any of his representatives will not contact the manufacture [sic] or dealership (Ferrari) with regards to this transaction under any circumstances prior to or after this contract agreement,” the contract reads.
And the law finally caught up
The victims who paid thousands of dollars in advance to buy the allocations slowly realized that every bit of it was a sham. High-end dealership Pagani Beverly Hills, Florida brokerage Veltracon and its buyer Jason Pittack, and Canadian company JPCM all filed civil lawsuits to recover their money. However, there might be more victims who have been not named in the FBI complaint or filed separate civil lawsuits, as many wealthy individuals usually like to stay away from unnecessary attention that their case might attract. Lesin has been in custody since he was arrested on June 2, 2022. Lesin’s parents aren’t the billionaires he claimed them to be and have struggled to bail him out. His parents said they didn’t have enough to foot the entire bill for their son’s release and have been asking for help but to no avail. Lesin awaits trial on four counts of wire fraud which is currently set to begin on Sept. 26. If found guilty, he might be sentenced to a maximum of up to 20 years in jail with a $250,000 fine.