A few months ago, I wrote a story about how a boatload of Wall Streeters Airbnb-ed a mansion in the Hamptons and threw a massive party (the annual ‘Sprayathon’ party) in it featuring midgets, expensive concerts, alcohol and general mayhem. Honestly, if you haven’t read it, you should because it’s bananas. Half of the angle of that story was how innocent the mansion owner who rented out his mansion was and how these dumb hedge fund d-bags completely trashed his home. However, new evidence from the New York Times is beginning to show that, maybe, this guy isn’t as innocent as he originally appeared.
The original party was hosted, planned and thrown by Brett Barna. After the entire ‘Sprayathon’ story went viral, the 31 year-old hedge fund trader predictably lost his job. Everyone wrote about how much of dickhead he was and how much him and all his friends had been negatively affected by wealth and taught to turn a blind eye to the consequences of their actions. The whole Wolf of Wall Street rhetoric.
However, another side of the story is beginning to emerge in the form of the home’s owner, one Omar Amanat, who was arrested on charges of fraud recently, unrelated to the Hamptons incident.
According the NYT, everything started two days before the party on July 1st. Through a real estate contact, Barna reached out to Amanat concerning renting his house, who requested $27,000 for a five-day rental. The cost was to be paid immediately and in cash. Since Barna had no cash, they went through Airbnb instead. Upon successful payment, Barna showed up to the house, only to find that another group had also successfully rented the house for the same weekend. Regardless, Barna decided the more the merrier, and went on with the party anyway, staying outdoors to avoid the other tenants. He hired a bunch of former cops to moonlight as security and also set up a bunch of portable toilets so people didn’t need to go inside/shit in the bushes. The party raged from around noon until 7 PM, with about 5oo attendees raising around $100,000 for Last Chance Animal Rescue.
Barna does admit that he regrets a few aspects of the party. Like the champagne spraying midgets. Personally, I think that sounds like the best part of this party, but to each his own. Barna, however, does maintains that nothing illegal happened and that they had raised plenty of money for charity as well.
Amanat, however, seems to think that plenty of illegal shit happened. Even before the party began, Amanat was texting Barna and demanding more money, nearly $13,000 on top of the initial $27,000. Barna pointed out that Amanat had double-rented the home, preventing him from using the house to it’s full capacity. Amanat began to become more and more aggressive with his calls and texts, going so far as to threaten Barna with bodily harm.
A few days later, Amanat was anonymously quoted saying that he was suing Barna for $1 million and that the partiers had totally destroyed his property. Barna, who has pictures of the house before and after the party, says that there was little to no damage. Amanat wouldn’t hear of it.
However, on July 13th, Amanat was arrested by the FBI in his New Jersey home for four counts of fraud in connections with investments related to a tech startup, whose CEO pled guilty of fraud in March. Barna now believes that the money Amanat was pressuring him for was in connection to Amanat’s belief that he would need to post bail money sooner rather than later.
Despite these recent developments, Barna doesn’t expect to get his job back, as he simply wants a fuller account of what went down. Amanat, on the other hand, was released Tuesday on bail and is expected to appear in court to answer for a number of fraud charges he has faced over the years. Because when you’re trying to avoid the notice of the police, what better way to do so than by telling the media about how you are demanding more money from people?
[h/t New York Times]