King of Cons: Exposing the Dirty, Rotten Secrets of the Washington Elite and Hollywood Celebrities

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Harper Collins, Dec 13, 2004 - Biography & Autobiography - 496 pages
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"In a LAND of MORAL IMBECILES,I knew I could be KING."

He was one of the most prominent producers of fundraising events in the country, throwing monumental charity bashes, securing millions of dollars in donations for the sick and needy. The trouble was, some of the people profiting were greedy politicians, and many of the "charity cases" were really only pampered Hollywood stars. It's a true-life spectacular that only Hollywood could produce.

Now, the story that shook the industry will finally shatter the façade of Hollywood's philanthropy and Washington's populism, once and for all exposing how empty are the real lifestyles of many of the rich and famous, and what really happens to charity money meant for the poor.

When Aaron Tonken arrived in Los Angeles in the early nineties, he had nothing, not even a high-school education. Yet within just a few years, he was a friend and business associate of the leading lights of Hollywood and the most powerful people in Washington. Tonken produced many of the biggest charitable and political functions ever seen on either coast, honoring former presidents Ford and Clinton, and raising money for the preferred charities of some of the biggest names in showbiz.

But hidden behind the glamour of these galas was a sordid tale, as Tonken became the central character in a tragicomedy featuring demanding stars and politicians grasping for big-dollar campaign donations.

In King of Cons, you'll read how Aaron Tonken:

  • Helped Hollywood darlings use money from their own charities
  • Was mentored by Peter Paul-ex con, Fabio manager, and business partner of Spider-Man creator Stan Lee
  • Got sucked into the criminal underworld of Los Angeles-the con artists, grifters, and porn kings.
  • Was bullied by the diva behavior of Roseanne, Paula Abdul, Natalie Cole, and members of the cast of Friends
  • Was approached for payments for appearances or performances at charity events by Cher, Sylvester Stallone, Lance Bass of *NSYNC, and the Democratic National Committee
  • Got involved with Denise Rich, ex-wife of fugitive financier Marc Rich, the subject of a controversial last-minute pardon by President Bill Clinton

From his bizarre days as a virtual prisoner in the decrepit mansion of Zsa Zsa Gabor to his entanglements with hustlers, con artists, and the Clintons, Aaron tracks the whole sordid story of how he squandered millions of dollars from charities in the world of celebrity politicians and politicking celebrities.


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