Raffaello Follieri — the handsome Italian who lived with Anne Hathaway in Olympic Tower before he went to pokey for fraud — is back in business.
Follieri is trying to buy a 50 percent stake in the Foggia Calcio soccer club in Southern Italy, and he claims that he is being helped by some of the people he worked with before he pleaded guilty in 2008 and was sentenced to 4 ½ years in prison.
In interviews with Italian media, Follieri bragged that his investors include billionaire Ron Burkle, part owner of the Pittsburgh Penguins hockey team.
Follieri, who once touted his supposed Vatican connections, had been partners with Burkle in a plan to buy up real estate from the Catholic Church.
“Ron is not involved with Follieri. He’s not involved with the Foggia team,” said Tom Harvey, a lawyer for the billionaire. “Follieri is just making this stuff up. There is absolutely zero chance that Ron would invest with Follieri, directly or indirectly.”
But Follieri claims the Ronald W. Burkle Foundation is a shareholder in FHolding, the company buying stake in the soccer team.
“So my interviews in the Italian press were accurate and precise,” Follieri said. “It is a shame that after I paid my debt to society, some people still have the need to put me down and don’t give a person a second chance.”
A person associated with the foundation said, “We are not shareholders and have no idea what this is about. It’s nonsense. We’re constantly denying this stuff.”
Follieri is working with his publicist from 10 years ago, Melanie Bonvicino, and his longtime law firm Paul Hastings. (Partner Marty Edelman represented Follieri before his incarceration.)
Fonte – Pagesix.com