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Judge takes Ferrari as bail
It is not often that prosecutors ask that a Ferrari be included in a bail package. Then again, The New York Times’ John Eligon writes, the criminal case of Steven Mandala is nothing if not unusual.

Mr. Mandala, 29, is accused of lying about his qualifications to get a job with Merrill Lynch in April 2009. He greatly inflated how much money he brought in for the brokerage firm he had worked for, providing forged pay stubs and tax returns to back up his lies, Cyrus R. Vance Jr., the Manhattan district attorney, said in a statement Tuesday.

On the basis of those lies, Merrill Lynch hired Mr. Mandala and gave him a $780,000 loan, a perk customarily extended to lure top-flight traders and brokers, Mr. Vance said.

Mr. Mandala promptly used the loan to buy a $245,000 Ferrari, a purchase that bothered prosecutors so much that they made the unusual move of asking a judge to force him to turn over the car as part of his bail.

The judge, Daniel P. FitzGerald of State Supreme Court in Manhattan, ended up setting bail at $500,000, Ferrari not included.

Mr. Mandala was charged with grand larceny, money laundering, criminal possession of a forged instrument, falsifying business records and identity theft.

He was a stockbroker with the Maxim Group, where he earned a salary of $100,000, when he applied to work at Merrill Lynch, Mr. Vance said. Mr. Mandala incorrectly told Merrill Lynch that he was a partner at Maxim and that he managed $300 million worth of assets and produced $1.5 million for the company, Hope Korenstein, an assistant district attorney, said in court. He also said he earned $765,000 a year, Ms. Korenstein said, and used fake documents to support his claims.

Mr. Mandala also made charges to credit cards he opened up in the name of his ex-girlfriend’s father, Ms. Korenstein said. Mr. Mandala is accused of stealing the $780,000 he was lent by Merrill Lynch. More at NY Times

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