Aaron Tonken

Aaron Tonken arrived in L.A. in the early nineties with absolutely nothing, not even a high-school education, yet within a few years was friends and business partners with the leading lights of Hollywood and many of the most powerful people in Washington . Tonken produced some of the most extravagant political and charitable functions ever seen on either coast, honoring former Presidents Ford, Reagan, and Clinton and raising money for the preferred charities of the biggest names in showbiz. But hidden behind the glamour of these galas was a sordid tale of embezzlement and extortion, as Tonken became the central character in a tragic farce of corruption and hypocrisy in which stars, otherwise known for their philanthropy, shook down promoters; and politicians laundered campaign donations (in the former first lady's case, $2 million). In 2004, Tonken released a book entitled King of Cons that tells the fascinating, mind-blowing true story--how he helped steal from the needy to fill the pockets of the greedy, in what is one of this country's biggest scandals.