July 30th, 2013 | By WagerMinds
This September, CNBC will air a one hour show called ‘Money Talks,’ which, according to a press release, is a “docu-soap that follows Steve Stevens, his stable of agents and the clients who risk big dollars in the hope these guys have the expertise to consistently deliver winners. There’s a lot on the line as we follow the gamblers who wager a few thousand each week to the whales who routinely make six-figure bets.”
Who is Steve Stevens? He’s a “well-known” handicapper who runs VIP Sports in Las Vegas. Ever heard of him? Don’t feel bad, neither have we.
Stevens has a website where he touts himself and his sports-picking ability. On the front page of that site is the following video (NSFW language):
Now, we’ve covered the sports betting industry for years and we’ve never heard of the “well-known” handicapper Steve Stevens. But, after watching his introductory video, we can confirm the following: Steve Stevens is a phony who runs an old-fashioned boiler room pick-selling operation. He claims he picks games at a “70-69%, year in, year out.” Then his video kindly corrects his off-the-cuff remarks and points out he actually hits at a 71.5% rate. The actual odds of someone like Stevens hitting at 70% against the spread over an extended period of time? Approximately one trillion to 1.
Since we had never heard of Steve Stevens – or his company “VIP Sports Las Vegas” – we did some basic internet research. And we found some interesting things. It turns out that the domain name of Stevens’s tout operation was registered just eight months ago and it’s registered to a man named Darin Notaro.
Who is Darin Notaro?
Well, there’s a Darin Notaro in Las Vegas who was on probation for six federal felony counts of telemarketing fraud by wire when he was arrested for his role in a 1999 telemarketing scam that bilked elderly victims out of more than $234,000. Notaro was ordered to pay back $12,230 and sentenced to one year in jail. At the time of that arrest, Notaro was 25 years old. Two years later, at age 27, Notaro was arrested for another telemarketing scam where, again, he targeted elderly people. Oh, and Notaro, who has at least one confirmed alias of Darin Sasser, was arrested for a previous telemarketing scam at the age of 24.
Notaro isn’t just tied to VIP Sports Las Vegas and ‘Steve Stevens’ by the domain registration, though. Notaro is listed as the only principal of Executive VIP Services International. According to company filings, Executive VIP Services International is located at 4004 Schiff Drive in Las Vegas. That’s the same address where VIP Sports Las Vegas is located. And it’s the address pictured in Stevens’s introductory video on his tout website.
Here’s a look at the office featured in the trailer for “Money Talks” and Google street view of 4004 Schiff Drive (the office tied to Darin Notaro):
According to state filings, Darin Notaro is the President, Secretary and Treasurer of Executive VIP Services International.
It appears Darin is also the company’s best salesperson. Here’s a photo of the sales board at VIPSportsLasVegas and, what do you know, Darin is the #1 seller for the week.
So, has convicted telemarketing scammer Darin Notaro simply adopted the alias Steven Stevens and is he the man pictured in the video on VIPSportsLasVegas.com? It sure seems that way.
But wait, there’s more. It turns out the Darin Notaro who is now going by ‘Steve Stevens’ is a friend of Floyd Mayweather.
Here’s an image from Floyd Mayweather’s ’30 Days in May’ documentary where Darin Notaro is described as a ‘friend’ of Floyd Mayweather and a ‘local businessman.’
In the “30 Days For May”, Notaro points out that his 4004 Schiff Drive office is right next door to Mayweather’s gym. Here’s Notaro referencing the 4004 Schiff drive office as his own (can’t host video, but full version with sound can be seen here, just skip to minute 17):
Left Turn Productions, one of the production companies that is developing ‘Money Talks,’ is the same production company that made ’30 Days in May,’ a documentary about Floyd Mayweather.
But that’s not all.
It appears that Floyd Mayweather and Darin Notaro have had a previous business relationship. According to this 2005 Sun Sentinel article, Darin Notaro was identified as the manager of Mayweather’s Philthy Rich Record label.
On Friday, 12 people from Philthy Rich Records led by junior welterweight boxing champ Floyd Mayweather Jr. checked into the hotel a day later than expected. The group, in town for Sunday’s MTV video music awards, said Hurricane Katrina wasn’t getting them down.
“The weather wouldn’t stop us from coming again,” said the group’s manager Darin Notaro. “We’ve got business here and we love the sand.”
Now let’s recap where we are: CNBC issued a press release boasting that it will air an hour long show about sports betting that will center around a Las Vegas-based tout. This tout has no verifiable track record at picking games. This tout’s company is owned and operated by a man named Darin Notaro. There’s a Las Vegas-based Darin Notaro who has been arrested multiple times for telemarketing scams. The CNBC show is being produced by Left Turn Productions, a film production company that previously worked with Floyd Mayweather. Floyd Mayweather seems to have a long-standing business relationship with the same Darin Notaro who is now using the alias Steve Stevens to sell picks.
We have not been able to locate a mugshot for the convicted felon Darin Notaro so we can’t definitely conclude that it’s the same Darin Notaro as the one posing as Steve Stevens. But, in just a few hours, we were able to raise all sorts of questions about ‘Steve Stevens’ and his boiler room tout operation.
Do you think CNBC – or any of the production companies involved – did any background check on “Steve Stevens” or his pick-selling company? It seems the answer is no.
We reached out to CNBC and Left Turn Productions for comment and neither responded.