Inside Dan Bilzerian’s murky millions as ‘King of Instagram’ throws wild £500k parties & shows off insane lifestyle
HE’S the self-styled King of Instagram – a 21st century Hugh Hefner who won social media fame by machine-gunning drones and throwing a naked model off a roof.
But Dan Bilzerian’s playboy lifestyle of private jets and endless bikini girls has left an enduring mystery: where does his money come from?
Bilzerian, now 42, is certainly not shy of showing off his wealth – sometimes literally with pictures of huge wads of banknotes.
His infamous Instagram feed is filled with pictures of fast cars, yachts, luxurious mansions in Vegas and LA, and lots of guns.
And he is always surrounded by a bevy of sexy models wearing bikinis or nothing at all.
One such picture landed him in hot water when he a posted a shot of him using a topless model as a table to mark International Women’s Day.
Another time he flung porn star Janice Griffith, 18, off the roof of his Los Angeles home, aiming for the pool.
But she broke her foot on the concrete ground and sued him.
The idiotic stunt only helped win Bilzerian tens of millions of followers and become the original king of the influencers.
Fans were amazed when he revealed his wild spending habits on a tour of his Las Vegas party mansion in 2017.
Besides gold condoms and guns on the bedside table, Dan showed off a $40,000 suit that he had never worn.
And in the garage was a 1965 Shelby Cobra worth $1.8million which he hadn’t driven for three years.
His hedonistic full-throttle lifestyle saw him have two heart attacks by the age of 35, he claims.
At one point his fame led to rumours he was planning to run for US president.
The source of his free-flowing cash has always been harder to establish.
Bilzerian claims he made a large chunk of his fortune – claimed to be up to $200million – as a professional poker player.
He says he started gambling seriously at college after being thrown out of Navy SEALs training for fighting with an officer.
In one interview, he said he went broke from his gambling losses, and was forced to sell his guns for $750.
But he used that to win $10,000, then flew to Vegas and won $187,000.
It launched him into a career as a successful pro as he learned to “play better”.
Although he has rarely appeared at top tournaments, he claims he struck it rich at private games with billionaires.
According to him, the most he ever lost in a day was $3.6million.
Another time he reportedly lost $2.3million on the flip of a coin.
But in 2013 he claimed he won $10.8million in a poker game, then jetted to a Mexico beach resort to “relax”.
He once said: “If you look at poker as a sport like baseball, then I’d be maybe a minor league or high school ballplayer. But I play with T-ballers (beginners hitting off a tee).
“If you look at poker like a business, I’d say I’m f***in’ Bill Gates.
“I’ve won over $50million playing poker. Who the f*** else has done that?”
In another interview he claimed he does not care if people believe he is actually bad at poker – because it gets him invites to games with high-rollers where he can clean up.
However others have suggested he is really a trust fund kid, living off his crooked dad’s murky millions.
Dan is the son of notorious Wall Street corporate raider Paul Bilzerian, who was jailed for securities fraud in 1989.
Federal authorities have spent three decades chasing the $62million he was ordered to repay in 1991.
Various legal filings allege Paul transferred his assets to a complex web of offshore companies and family trusts in the 1990s.
A judge said in 2001: “It is clear that he did this purposefully to insulate his assets from the reach of his creditors.”
At least one trust was set up for his two sons, Dan and Adam.
The judge said it was one of the entities through which Paul “appears to be attempting to hide his assets” – although the sons were not accused of wrongdoing.
Later another judge allowed Dan to sell millions of dollars worth of shares held in trust, legal papers show.
In past interviews Dan has admitted to being a beneficiary of of trusts set up by his father, although he refused to say how much he got.
But in another he claimed he had rejected payouts he was due at the age of 30 and again at 35.
He told YouTuber Graham Bensinger: “I gave it all back… I gave it to my brother.
“It was like, not a big deal… I never wanted something from somebody without being able to kind of reciprocate, I guess.
“So, my dad had like lost me some money on some deals, so… I took like a little bit from that and gave the rest away.”
More recently he claimed he made another fortune from the cryptocurrency boom.
He told Jackass star Steve-O’s podcast he only got involved begrudgingly after someone who owed him millions from poker games offered to settle the debt in Bitcoin.
He claimed he only remembered years later when a friend told him the virtual currency was “going off”.
Despite forgetting his password, he was eventually able to get back into his laptop wallet and realised he was sitting on a fortune, he claimed.
He says he then bought Ethereum and other cryptos and rode a “wave” to make “a lot of money” before cashing out millions.
Epic spending spree
Meanwhile he had also used his internet fame to launch a business selling CBD oil and vaping products, called Ignite.
The Sun was invited to his UK launch party – when he hired out an entire London hotel at a cost of £500,000.
Dan flew in a gaggle of leggy Instagram models by private jet for the glitzy bash in 2019.
However the company’s finances have proved as controversial as his own.
In 2020 Bilzerian was sued by Ignite vice-president Curtis Heffernan, who accused him of using the firm to fund his luxury lifestyle.
He claimed he was fired for refusing to sign off extravagant expenses including an $18,000 bar tab and a $15,000 ping pong table.
Other expenditure cited in legal papers included a $75,000 paintball field, $40,000 on a rock climbing wall, $60,000 on a Star Wars gun set, $31,000 on pool renovations, and $50,000 on a bed frame.
The company was also paying the eye-watering $200,000 a month rent on Bilzerian’s mansion in Bel Air, it was claimed.
The boss reportedly said he needed it to host pool parties and marketing events.
Yacht rental, private jet travel with models and a $130,000 photo shoot in the Bahamas were also allegedly charged to the firm.
And it paid $26,000 on promotions to get Bilzerian more Instagram followers, the lawsuit claims.
At the same time, Ignite reported a loss of $50million in its first year, according to Forbes.
The marketing budget alone was over $16million, more than double that year’s sales revenue.
A company report said Ignite had raised huge sums from issuing shares and borrowing from investors.
It then went on an epic spending spree even as its stock price plunged, according to Forbes.
Cash went on licensing fees, business expenses, and travel expenses for companies “owned by the CEO”, according to the accounts.
Ignite also received more than $1million of government cash under a Covid support scheme.
The ongoing case does not seem to have dampened Bilzerian’s appetite for partying.
His Insta feed shows scores of glamorous new photos of him with gorgeous models and VIP chums.
The question remains: where does all the money come from?
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