Manny Regalado - Entitled Sociopath - C-Grade Con Man
I listen to crime podcasts and I have a few favorites. Small Town Dicks, Sword and Scale, This is Actually Happening, Already Gone are just a few. I anticipate my daily walks and learn more about people than just the horrific crimes they commit. I learn about human behavior and why some people are just downright scarier than we want to believe. Trusting one’s gut can be a life-saving exercise.
It appears that most criminals have many things in common. Pathological lying, lack of remorse and empathy and they don’t have just a sense of entitlement they are entitled to whatever you have. Criminals want what you have without working for it. Without developing relationships, without the hard work of the trial and error that comes with developing a skill. They want instant credibility without having to measure up to promised expectations, without risky financial investment, and the pride that comes with repaying a loan, or the sleepless nights pondering an idea and self-examination that comes with mistakes. Criminals want to appear “as if” they have achieved, when in reality everything they have is stolen. Few have real talent beyond manipulation and conning and their lack of real smarts is eventually discovered.
Bernie Madoff, former Chairman of NASDAQ stock exchange and the con man who operated the longest running Ponzi scheme in history defrauded investors of well over 50 million dollars. When caught, he showed no remorse and died peacefully of lung cancer in prison while awaiting trial. His fraud lasted over two decades and wiped out the life savings of generations of entire families. His cowardly son Andrew Madoff hanged himself when he relapsed with Lymphoma following his older brother Mark who hanged himself after Bernie Madoff was arrested. Madoff’s son’s good fortune and appearance of success was cruelly and entirely stolen from many self-made people. Many of Madoff’s victim’s died unable to pay for health care, and unable to pay for retirement and elderly services. The Madoffs were entitled no matter the cost to hundreds of people’s hard won nest eggs.
I was listening to episode 149 of Sword and Scale and I couldn’t help but think of Manny Regalado. Regalado wants what you have. This is how Mike Boudet introduced the episode about how a son dismembered his father Judge James “Skip” Scandirito because he felt entitled to his father’s earned fortune.
Mike Boudet — “Remember when society valued hard work? The term self-made man used to be a thing. A person that others looked up too. Someone who through hard work and sheer determination has made something of themselves. In today’s entitled society this term is all but forgotten. Couple that with the American inherently materialistic culture of glitz and glamour and shiny things and you end up with an overarching general fog of envy. We no longer expect to work for the things we want. We want them to be given to us. Let someone else pay for it. Give me the check. Give me my universal basic income. It’s no longer a hand out it’s our birthright. To take what should be ours. And it doesn’t matter who we are taking it from. $800,000 - the cost of a moderately nice upper middle class home in south Florida. $800,000 - your reward for chopping up and desecrating the body of the man who raised you, and took you into his home, and most importantly of all, gave you life, a life which you decided to improve with a trip to home depot and a saw in the garage. $800,000. Hey after all, it is your birthright.”
I’ve talked with so many of Regalado’s victims now and everything I’ve learned about the man is the opposite of everything he told me and everyone he’s seeding in North Seattle. Let’s begin with the way he introduced himself.
“I moved to Seattle to retire because I’m sick of the celebrity life. The people in Los Angeles are superficial. The things I saw would shock you”. Like what? “They snort piles of cocaine and do drugs and are drunk all the time and dishonest. People in LA aren’t good people especially celebrities.”
Although I’m still investigating Regalado’s victims, I have not found one celebrity for whom he’s worked. All the people he ripped off in Los Angeles County are founders of charities, sub-contractors and suppliers and a couple are con-friends. Con-friends are people Regalado pretends to be friends with so he can gain access to their friends and inner circle. He keeps con-friends on a short leash so he has someone local for references. One of his con-friends in Los Angeles truly believed he was his besty, even convincing his wife that her suspicion that Regalado was a phony was all wrong. She used the words, “he creeps me out”, words I thought many times and words I pushed down and tried to brush off as my being too hard on the odd overly talkative and braggish guy. Like his friend, I gave Regalado the benefit of my doubts over and over and over until the stink of his con enveloped every part of my life and became unrefutable.
Manny Regalado has mastered the art of invasion. Little by little he works at gaining access to every aspect of his mark’s life. He charms his way through the door during meal time and when he notices you have a visitor he convinces your friend he is actually intimately involved with you. He sees your neighbor and introduces himself, laying the ground work for a future victim. He hit four homes in one neighborhood. In Los Angeles, he was able to con one friend who led to another friend’s project and to another and another. It is not possible to describe the intense anguish one feels knowing they are responsible for another’s pain. Bernie Madoff ravaged lives and provoked suicides. When it takes 30 years to accumulate prosperity it’s hard to imagine rebuilding those same dollars before your own impending death. I still have no idea if and when I can earn an excess of $250,000 lost to Regalado’s scheme. Nor can I repair the broken heart over losing time with my mother and family.
Regalado orbits your world. He a drops your name at the 7-11 and at hardware stores. He makes sure every clerk knows who he is and he uses your money to appear as if your money is his. He put my name on his Home Depot and Dunn Lumber accounts. He makes sure everyone at the neighborhood bar knows he’s working for you. Regalado hangs out at The Wedgewood Broiler on 35th, just down the street from the house he’s squatting in. He chats up the staff making sure they believe he’s a successful home remodeler, home owner driving a fancy car he borrows from his con-friend. He dresses the part wearing Whistle Stop Workwear - workwear he buys using the Friends and Family discount belonging to a Whisker City staffer - because he claims he’s her friend. In reality Regalado is cruising for marks and a vampire-like need for fresh money. Not to do the responsible thing and pay bills or 4 months back rent or make restitution to his victims. Like all cons, he needs to be seen eating $100 steaks and drinking $30 well drinks made with top shelf booze. I’ve only recently been to The Wedgewood Grill, yet the staff knows who I am from all the photos of my house Regalado shows them as proof he is who he says he is. I’ve unwittingly become an accomplice to this orbitor.
Manny Regalado wants what you have and he doesn’t want to waste 30 years building a reputation. 30 years investing in financial instruments and adding money to a savings account. He can’t waste 30 years building a credit score to buy a house or have credit cards and the respect and pride that comes with talent and hard work.
Manny Regalado is an entitled sociopath and he’s cruising for you.