Dan Bilzerian is a man with a lot of money, or so he boasts online. Many have wondered how he did it. Many things can make someone money, from investing to coming up with a genius idea as an entrepreneur. You could also be excellent at something, like being a pro-athletes.
However, Bilzerian is none of these things; instead, he claims to be a professional poker player with an insane net worth of $150 million. But poker isn’t his only source of income, and his company Ignite is supposedly failing fast. The company’s downfall has led to Bilzerian’s Instagram-rocking lifestyle being exposed as less than real. What makes him a complete financial fraud similar to these other businesspeople who destroyed their own successful empires? Read more about his business endeavors and exploits thanks to Forbes, Kulture Hub, Money Inc., and GQ Magazine.
24.Where The Issues Started For Bilzerian
Bilzerian built himself quite the reputation over the years with his excessive lifestyle, and now he’s in trouble for it. It’s also essential to let you know that he wasn’t someone who started from the ground up. Thanks to his father, he got a good start building his wealth. He had quite a hefty trust fund, which helped him to start his life. Instead of first using up his trust fund, he enlisted in the Armed Forces.
He did start Navy Seal training, but shortly after, his military career came to a crashing halt after a situation with a superior officer. But this wasn’t too much of an issue for Bilzerian since he was already very wealthy. He was embroiled in wealth his whole life. That meant he worked up a thirst for money.
So, what has Bilzerian done to earn himself the infamous title of “financial fraud”? Apart from being a questionable character, there was a lawsuit filed against him. He’s finally landed himself in a legitimate and ongoing lawsuit that he won’t be able to make go away like other ones he’s had filed against him. From the outside, it looks like he is living the life – the one boys dream about as a teenager. It involves wild parties, beautiful girls, and of course, the mansion that goes along with all of this.
Well, the issue is all about who is paying for this lavish lifestyle. Despite Bilzerian’s seemingly high net worth, he’s apparently renting his house and is charging all his splendid lifestyle choices to a credit card that he isn’t even paying off – someone else is. At the end of the day, the money that he’s spending isn’t his.
Bilzerian has an insane monthly rental mansion to host all his raucous and crazy parties, which are all for the “brand.” Let’s get into this a bit more – his monthly rent is an exorbitant $200,000. It’s not only the house he’s charging to this credit card, however; it’s his boats, parties, and other expenses that are being charged to Ignite International Ltd., a cannabis company that Bilzerian helped to develop. Who gave away this very revealing information?
It came from Curtis Heffernan, the former president of that same company. He was fired because of being a whistleblower and brought some strange and suspicious money to light. What did some of these funds include? You’ll be shocked by these, and they seem ridiculous.
If you’re spending your own money, sure, go ahead and splurge on silly things like Star Wars products – but don’t use the company credit card. He charged $60K to the card to pay for a Star Wars gun set. I mean, we know there are Star Wars superfans out there, but this is just bizarre to be charging something like this to a company credit card. Not only that, but he also allegedly spent $50K on a bed frame and even $75K on a paintball field. We can only dream of being able to spend money like this.
In 2019, it was reported by Forbes that Ignite lost $50 million. Take a moment to think about that. The thing is that this wasn’t just the company’s money, but a lot of investors’ money was being used on frivolous purchases by the financial fraud of Bilzerian. This money even covered a “spending spree” when its stock dwindled. The question is, who was behind all of this? We may have the answer.
It’s Dan Bilzerian, of course. We all understand the concept that sometimes, to make money you have to spend money – but it should probably be on items of value to the company. The lawsuit also has a few other exciting things. The company also was responsible for paying over $26,000 to boost its Instagram following.
According to his Instagram feed, it was also used to pay for the cast of models; furthermore, they seemed to be with him every second of every day. But of course, he denies all of these allegations and is saying that he’ll counter-sue Heffernan’s filing. Is this having any impact on his Instagram fame? Not really; people are still fascinated by his antics and behavior.
It’s not just this 2019 lawsuit case that makes many think he’s a financial fraud. It’s a whole lot of events throughout his years as a “wealthy man.” He’s made many mistakes over the years, but he always seems to get away with it thanks to the money he has. Let’s throw it back to December 2014, where Bilzerian had an event at his home for a magazine shoot. He ended up throwing a pornographic actress off the roof and into the pool.
It was reckless and she ended up breaking her foot after it hit the edge of the pool on her way down. She was only 18 years old at the time and asked for $85,000 in injury money from Bilzerian. He refused to pay her the money. A lawsuit was filed, and the result eventually said the landing was an accident, and the magazine and Bilzerian were cleared of being at fault for the injuries.
Who makes a bomb and gets away with it the very next day? Bilzerian, the man who also thinks he should run for president of the United States! It doesn’t end there. In that same year, Bilzerian was arrested in Los Angeles for making a bomb. He was booked at the LAPD Pacific Division but released the next day. Bilzerian then ended up pleading no contest when the case was heard in 2015 and got off with a $17K fine (which maybe he charged to his Ignite company credit card).
Can you believe shortly after this all went down, he announced that he would be running for president in the 2016 election? Thank goodness he never made it further than that announcement. Let’s fast forward to a trip he took in 2018 with his brother and father to Armenia.
Bilzerian is actually on the wanted list in Azerbaijan because of firing weapons when he was there with his family. They went to a shooting range in the Republic of Artsakh, where he fired off some firearms. However, due to the country’s contested nature at the time of their visit, a note of protest was sent from Azerbaijan to the US government. Moreover, they demanded a warrant for his arrest. Nevertheless, the warrant didn’t go through. However, he is still on the country’s international wanted list.
Let’s go back to his claim to fame of trying to become a US Navy SEAL. Despite never becoming one, he often boasts about being part of the training twice. He’s delusional, and the Navy would never want anything to do with this man who is not only a financial fraud evidently but just a fraud in general.
Bilzerian may deny it, but his employees speak out against his fraudulent behavior with Ignite and how he has been using company money for himself. Let’s get a bit more into the detail of his fraudulent behavior with regards to Ignite. There have been quite a few former Ignite employees who have spoken out (albeit anonymously) about what has happened in the company and how Bilzerian exploited it to pay for his ridiculous lifestyle.
One of the employees who spoke out about Bilzerian said that Ignite pays for absolutely everything. Bilzerian uses the loophole to wrap everything up with the Ignite logo, and then it seems ok for him to call it an Ignite expense. After he does this, he sends out the bill and expects it to be paid out of someone else’s pocket.
What goes around comes around, and everything was recently exposed in the report by the Canadian Stock Exchange when Ignite submitted their annual report. But, these aren’t Ignite events. They’re all Bilzerian’s events and have nothing to do with the business he is charging it all to the company card. When it comes to Heffernan and precisely what he’s suing Bilzerian for, it’s damaging for defamation, wrongful termination, and is terminated in violation of California state whistleblower protection laws.
The trouble began in May 2020. That was when lots of red flags were raised by the accountants. They were busy working on the books to prepare them for the Ignite International Brand’s annual report. That’s required by the Canadian Stock Exchange where shares of Ignite are publicly traded.
Bilzerian certainly knows how to spend money and tried to get Heffernan to sign off on these expenses as being legitimate business costs. But once the accountants had finished their work, they flagged a total of $843,014.06 in company expenses that seemed to be for more personal rather than company-based expenditures. These payments were also for charges on Bilzerian’s credit cards, yacht rental, and a trip to London, to name a few.
Heffernan at the time had been asked to sign off on these crazy expenses so that they seemed to be legitimate charges to the business. However, he said he suspected fraud so he refused to sign for them. He then spoke to Bilzerian and told him to get rid of the $200,000 per month rental mansion, especially after the effects of COVID-19.
Bilzerian didn’t want to budge on moving out of his expensive rental even in 2020 when he wouldn’t be able to host parties like he usually does. He explained it would be ridiculous to have this home when Bilzerian wouldn’t host the “marketing” events he usually would because of social distancing requirements. Bilzerian shut this down, and he jumped in suddenly as Chairman of the Board. He then commented that he would have summer pool parties and most certainly would be using the house.
The very next day, Heffernan was fired. It was all based on Bilzerian claiming Heffernan had used drugs while in a company meeting. He didn’t like that Heffernan was standing in the way of his lifestyle and would do anything to get rid of someone like that.
The Canadian Stock Exchange revealed everything, and Heffernan is looking forward to seeing Bilzerian in court according to his attorney. So all the dirty laundry was aired out on the annual report that showed just how much Ignite had lost because of Bilzerian. It also showed that quite a few other companies that involved the shareholders or board members of Ignite had loaned them quite a lot of money to help it stay afloat and essentially keep Bilzerian’s ridiculous spending going.
That was all brought to light on the Canadian Stock Exchange website. Heffernan refused to comment but his attorney did say that he is undoubtedly looking forward to them being in court about the matter. Nevertheless, knowing Bilzerian, he will do anything to make sure that doesn’t happen to try and maintain what is left of his famous online image.
Bilzerian seems to have a long lineage of fraudsters in his family. His father, Paul Bilzerian, is a convicted one, though, who has been on the wrong side of the law a few times. It seems like it’s all in his genes, though, because after a Wall Street Journal investigation took place, it has revealed that his father is a convicted fraudster. The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree apparently ad it seems Bilzerian is heading down the same road as his father. What did his father do to get this label?
His dad lived in the West Indies and had a judgment brought against him for a matter and was charged $62 million for it. To this day, he has only paid $3.7 million of this money. It seems like neither of the Bilzerian likes to pay off their debt and instead prefer to leave it there for someone else to sort out instead of taking responsibility for it.
Bilzerian has gotten away with hurting people and does it without any care in the world about the consequences. If you thought him pushing the porn star off the roof was an accident and a one-time misjudgment, think again. Here’s another time when he got let off the hook way too quickly. It was in December 2014. There was footage of him kicking a woman in the face when he was out partying to celebrate his birthday at LIV Nightclub in Miami.
The woman was hurt and was bleeding near her eye. Of course, Bilzerian denied it ever happened and tried to turn it around by saying he was protecting another woman who was with him when this incident occurred. Maybe people could have believed that it wasn’t for all his other raucous behavior before and after this happened.
When your lifestyle is this wild, it’s no surprise Bilzerian’s had some significant health scares in his life, even in his early twenties. By the age of 25, he had already suffered two heart attacks. These were both directly related to the lifestyle he lives with too much drinking and wild antics. He also doesn’t set a good example for people regarding their health and is willing to bet money on it – proving how frivolous he is and backing up the claim of him being a financial fraud.
After one of his health scares, he checked himself out of hospital early and sent out a tweet which said, “Going for a run. I’ll bet a million dollars I don’t die. Any takers?”. It just showed how little he cares and that he’s never going to change his behavior or spending habits.
You know things are quite dangerous when you go to someone’s house, and the security warns you about guns lying around armed and ready to go. One of the things which he has spent much money on is his gun collecting. He has guns lying all around his home – as if it’s something very casual to him. According to sources who have been to Bilzerian’s house, a security guard warns you about them and tells you not to touch them when you walk in.
They don’t warn you not to touch them because they’re Bilzerian’s property and he doesn’t like people touching his things, but because all of these guns are chambered and loaded. It’s a considerable concern, especially knowing Bilzerian’s personality and people suspect that it’s how things will end for him one day.
He has never had a good role model in his life, and this definitely could be the reason he acts out and behaves the way he does today. Why is Bilzerian the way he is? It could go back to his childhood and the fact that he was almost destined to become a financial fraud. His childhood seems to have been difficult and lonely, despite his family’s money. Money doesn’t give you happiness, let that be a lesson you learn from reading this article if there is one.
His father was absent most of the time because he was wheeling and dealing exotic deals. When he was around, he made life very difficult. His father sued Dan’s Little League baseball team for slander in an argument over a $5000 donation. The case was dismissed, but it certainly caused unnecessary drama.
Bilzerian knows he is a “flashy lunatic” but doesn’t seem to put any effort into changing and stopping the concerning lifestyle he is stuck in. Bilzerian even admits that he is such a “flashy lunatic” because he didn’t get the attention he needed as a child. We might feel sorry for him, but the fact that he’s realized this about himself but doesn’t want to make a change removes any empathy for this type of situation he’s found himself in.
There was one notable time, according to Bilzerian, that his father made an effort to spend time with him. His father drove him to school shortly after he turned 10. That was when his father told him that he was going to prison – he had been found guilty on nine counts of stock and tax fraud. It had to do with a pump-and-dump operation involving parking investments in public companies, hostile takeover bids, and then offloading assets when share prices rose.
Classmates bullied Bilzerian in school after his dad was sent to prison on fraud charges. That was where his problem with authority began. What did the judge say about this matter? They said, “The lure of money caused Bilzerian to lose proper perspective.” And that’s precisely what’s happened to his son. After his father went to prison, Bilzerian was bullied by his classmates and he was expelled from school eventually.
He was then sent to a military academy where drill instructors attempted to get him in line. His family moved to Utah when his father was out on parole, and he started another company. But soon after, his father got into trouble again and found himself involved in even more litigation. What was Bilzerian’s reaction to this?
That isn’t the usual show and tell that schools expect. Yet, it was something Bilzerian felt very proud to be showing off. He ended up taking his father’s M16 machine gun with him to school. He said that he was showing everyone at school because he was so proud of it. We can now see where he got his obsession with guns. The school showed absolutely no sympathy for the situation and authorities got involved as well.
Bilzerian was not only expelled from the school, but the family was asked to leave Utah. That was when Bilzerian decided to try out for the Navy Seals, which he wasn’t cut out for. Despite his father having fought in Vietnam, he was not a favorite of the officers. Then, an FBI raid took place, and the ex-corporate raider was thrown into jail.
Where has Bilzerian’s money gone? His father is estimated to have half a billion dollars stashed away somewhere in the Cook Islands, and Bilzerian has his own trust fund. Some people estimate that he had half a billion dollars. The family house was sold, and it ended up partly owned by a charity named after the cat the family owned. Where did the other family assets end up? They’re in the Cook Islands.
Bilzerian still has trust funds in his name, and he even ended up using a third of one to bail his dad out of jail. That didn’t go down well at home, and his father wouldn’t talk to him for eight months, which is quite ridiculous considering Bilzerian tried to do something to help his father out.
Bilzerian has recently replaced his publicist with a new one who seems to be trying their best to clean up his image. It might take a lot more than a new publicist to clean up the damage Bilzerian has done to his image over the years. He’s altered his Twitter bio slightly – dropping the profanity he refers to himself as. Bilzerian also made some charitable donations and has let everyone know about these efforts.
He’s also been relatively quiet when it comes to press interviews, which certainly isn’t a regular thing for this man who loves any attention he can get. So, is he now on the path to redemption, or is he just trying to get himself back on his feet so he can carry on with the notorious lifestyle we have seen flashed all over his Instagram feed?
Bilzerian also has his own social media manager who has complained to him that the content and bad behavior wasn’t “brand-friendly” and could potentially deter some sponsors in the future. His social media manager isn’t happy about how he portrays himself online as it’s damaging to future sponsorships. Bilzerian leaked this text message exchange showing that he doesn’t take the advice seriously at all.
He then posted a picture of himself on a yellow life raft making a grand entrance into a nightclub with a naked woman lying next to him. They say a picture says a thousand words, but to make sure we all got the point that the lude and crude Bilzerian isn’t going anywhere, he finished it off with a caption saying, “Good thing I’m rich, and I don’t give a f***.” Well, we’re not sure that you’ll be that rich for that much longer, Dan.