Connect
To Top

Meet Maverick Miles of The Maverick Collection in Malibu

Today we’d like to introduce you to Maverick Miles.

King of Confidence: The Legendary Untold Story of the Greatest Counterfeiter & Confidence Man of All Time

For five full years, confidence man Maverick Miles and his team were able to walk boldly into American banks across the country and pull off the greatest scheme in U.S. counterfeiting history. Under the guise of your average wealthy man spending a typical afternoon simply cashing in his bonds, Maverick was able to walk into banks across the country and, minutes later, walk out with thousands of dollars in cash that wasn’t his. On some days his team’s take would run into the hundreds of thousands of dollars. He did this for five years, gathering a team, amassing a small fortune and living an extreme lifestyle of freedom and abundance. And he did it without violence, without threats, and without ever being caught.

Armed with little more than a charming smile, a quick wit and an ample amount of confidence, he was able to pass more than $20 million in counterfeit US Savings Bonds indirect “hand-to-hand” transactions with bank tellers. U.S. Secret Service men would later name Maverick the #1 high-tech Counterfeiter and Confidence Man in the Country.

What goes into the making of a confidence man, and how does he learn his trade?

For twenty-two years that question has been unanswerable because Maverick himself remained silent about that five year period in his life. Nobody outside a small circle of Justice Department federal agents, a US federal Judge, high-level US Attorneys, Maverick’s team and Maverick himself knew the details of his half-decade of producing high-quality counterfeit bonds and scamming the American banking system like it had never been scammed before or since. Here are those answers- after two decades, Maverick’s story unwinds and we finally see how a master confidence man is born.

Tale of The 2 Franks

After laying low for more than twenty years, Maverick was inspired to tell this story after what would otherwise have been an unmemorable evening of watching ABC News. That’s where he saw national news coverage of a man who was called “The World’s Greatest Counterfeiter,” a Canadian named Frank Bourassa. Typical of the bravado of confidence men, Bourassa claimed to be the best at what he did. There are other claims to the throne, too. Frank Abagnale, made famous by his book “Catch Me if You Can” and the subsequent movie of the same name starring Leonardo DiCaprio, also made statements about his supremacy as a counterfeiter. Abagnale, now 71, is well-known as a highly successful former confidence trickster, check forger and imposter.

I asked Maverick about how these 2 Franks affected his decision to break the two decades-long silence about his own counterfeiting ventures. “This dude (Frank Bourassa) and some other counterfeiters have claimed to be so great, their claim being based on the quantity and quality of how much they counterfeited, but none of them have done what I did and taken their counterfeited notes directly INTO the bank! That’s ballsy and it takes a lot of nerve and guts to do,” Maverick says of himself, adding, “Counterfeiters take their work anywhere but to the bank! No matter how fantastic they think it is. Counterfeiters of currency are of course taking big risks, too, but look how they pass the fake money, they either sell it in bulk (to buyers who know it’s fake money) on the black market or pass it out over time and at many different places and to unsuspecting people and businesses. Frankly, I don’t see anything whatsoever about that being the ‘greatest of all time.’ I took my forged notes right into the heart of the matter… The bank.

I took my notes there for the tellers to scrutinize and for their assistant managers or bank presidents to approve. I would have to stand in the bank 10 to 15 minutes at a time while they examined my bonds and completed the transaction. That’s a lot of scrutiny! No one with larceny on their mind and intention is going to do that! But hell, I had to, they were (fake) savings bonds. You can’t pass these bonds at your local corner liquor store or mom-and-pop pizza parlor, you know? I took that money fair and square straight from the US Government and US Banks all across America. I gotta say, Frank Abagnale took his forged checks right into the banks, but the detail of the payroll checks he passed in the 1960s was infantile in comparison the detail of a US Savings Bond, much less the transactional process of negotiating it into cash in the 1980s and 90s. Most people were gullible and half asleep and trusted most everything in the 1960s. “No counterfeiters, none of them, took their notes into the bank and converted them and had the government pay them millions of dollars as I did. Although there is no shortage of gifted forgers out there, I truly hold the Greatest of All Time title over all of them. I’m the only one who has EVER converted my counterfeited notes directly ‘hand-to-hand’ to the US banks undetected and I’ve made more money like that than any other counterfeiter ever in the history of US banking.”

Walking of the Paper…

Curious about the technicalities of his forgery, I encouraged Maverick to speak about his techniques. Turns out it’s a blend of old-school craftsmanship and slick showmanship… a package deal that was decades in the making. However, Maverick’s superior counterfeiting ability and ballsy “walking of the paper” directly into the banks for hand-to-hand conversion to pull the stunt was so prolific that the details of his case have been sealed by the US Treasury and the Department of Justice, in the interest of national financial security. Suffice it to say that Maverick was one of the United States’ highest level counterfeiters and the only counterfeiter (in the history of the US Treasury and US Secret Service) to have produced Savings Bonds so exact and perfect that every single one of his transactions was passed exclusively and successfully inside of American banks.

From Laying Low to Telling All…

Why after over two-plus decades of silence is Maverick ready to speak about this now?
Or more importantly, why didn’t he speak about this when he got out of prison 24 years ago?

“There were a few reasons I chose to never speak about it upon my release,” says the mercurial and confident Maverick.
“My lawyer had advised me to ‘lay low’ and not speak about it. Also, it seemed like the parole agents were always trying to find a way to send a convicted felon back to the joint, so I didn’t want to give them any excuses.”

It’s hard to believe Maverick kept quiet about it for as long as he has. In an interview for this article, he spoke with such detailed clarity, sharing interesting stories and speaking with confidence and such detail, that it seemed like his caper was only yesterday. He went on for hours in the interview process with a wide array of interesting stories.

One Giant Flaw in the American Banking System…

He hit banks first all across the South. First in his adopted hometown Atlanta, then in Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Kentucky, Dallas, Houston and all across the South. Then St. Louis, the Midwest, including Chicago, before coming to Los Angeles to lay low and take refuge from the “work.”

“I found my groove and a huge flaw in the American banking system — That I could walk into any bank in the country and present my counterfeit bond documents and walk out with approximately $9,950 in converted cash at a time,” Maverick said. “I would do what I call a ‘walk on’ in six banks a day and net close to $60,000 in cash, Scott-free, most every day, whenever I felt like it. Earning the converted money “fair and square”

“Then you want more, so sometimes I’d hit up to 10 banks a day. 
Once I put my All-American team together of three American white women and three American white men we were unstoppable… 
as a Southern black boy, I had long observed that with the right white man or woman you could do just about anything. 
And my AWT (American White Team) of six-under my tutelage and direction we did just that! 
Hitting up to 10 banks a day we’d rake in over a half-million dollars on the daily regular.”  

Staying Under the Radar with the IRS…

Maverick would pre-calculate his fake bonds to the penny so that cashing out a matured bond, with interest, would have a payout of just under $10,000, ten thousand US Dollars thus it wouldn’t raise any IRS requirements that needed to be met to complete the transaction. If the transaction surpassed $10,000, ten thousand US Dollars. A CTR (Currency Transaction Report) would be required to be filled out, adding even more time and exposure to the detailed caper.

“When I did 10 bond ‘packages’ a day I would make just shy of $100K in a just a few hours. Now how many so-called bank robbers or counterfeiters could do that? The dye bomb pack explodes on their money, or they only getaway a few blocks before getting caught, or they get shot dead, or worse, they hurt an innocent person. My crew and I had an incredible run of it, we never ran out of any banks fleeing in haste! And as the good times rolled, so did my hunger for more.”

Step back a few decades to find out how a Master Confidence Man is made…

This New Year’s Baby’s Real (First Given) Name…
 
Born Maverick Miles Nehemiah on New Year’s Day, in Tulia, Texas, he was adopted at birth by a Black-American US Air Force Colonel and his Native-American wife, and re-named ‘Derek’.

His adoptive mother and father moved to Atlanta, Georgia, and that’s where he was raised, and would later unleash his counterfeit ring. In 1986, he would legally change and “reclaim his rightful birth name” given to him at birth by his biological birth mother to ‘D.W.Maverick Miles.’ He says that was reducing ‘Derek Wade’ to the initials ‘D.W.,’ a la’ Texas style.

From Buying War Bonds for College to Counterfeiting Them for Profit…

Maverick’s adoptive father was a career US Air Force man, rising to the ranks of Colonel. Maverick’s father, an upstanding straight-laced Government man, may have inadvertently influenced young Maverick to make the fake bonds. “Dad was a military man and old-school and believed in ‘war bonds’ as he called them by their old-school name. But they were US Savings Bonds. He got paid every two weeks and on every pay cycle, a $100 savings bond was generated for me for my college fund. The bond that really caught my eye was the commemorative Bicentennial US Savings Series E Bond issued in 1976 in honor of our nation’s 200-year anniversary. That’s the one I’d later get down pat and make a work of art.” But it was a 16-year-old Maverick who, after joining the JR. Army ROTC, first unwittingly got ideas of being a Master Confidence Man and imposter.

The Magic of a Man in Uniform…

Upon induction into the JR ROTC, a teenage Maverick was issued a US Army uniform and soon made rank as an officer. Thing is, he was a Junior officer. But most civilians didn’t know that. “When I put that uniform on, cleaned and pressed from head to toe, shoes shining, with my brass officer medallions glimmering, I found I was treated differently, with respect,” he said. “I’d win ‘Best- Dressed Officer’ every week in my quest to make my father and mother proud of me. Once I put that sharp uniform on, I became a different person. I went from being Joe Pedestrian to Superman. I learned I could transform myself into somebody else. I was already a 6-foot-2 inch tall personable, affable, well-spoken and clever Southern boy, and soon I was using the uniform to create a larger than life character, using it as leverage…

At 16 I was out on the prowl getting an older, 27-year-old adult girlfriend who was an exotic dancer at the Cheetah 3 Atlanta strip club. I was test-driving Porsches and I was collecting money door-to-door for charities—all in uniform. On one such Thanksgiving holiday weekend, I collected about $5,000 for Toys for Tots, which I gave them $3K, and I kept $2K for my ‘collector’s fee.’ The people I became friends with and gained the trust of were white Southerners, many of whom were wealthy and powerful and living in the very affluent Buckhead area of Atlanta, which, in comparison, is like Beverly Hills. They thought of me as a clean-cut nice young black man, and as an adult officer in the Army and that left a big impression upon me”.

Inspiration from the Movies…

After some small-time cons, it was the 1985 release of the movie “To Live and Die in L.A.” that made a major impact on and heavily influenced and motivated Maverick to start some kind of big-time con operation and lucrative counterfeit scheme of his own. In the movie, directed by William Friedkin (who Maverick said he idolizes), Willem Dafoe plays a masterful and eclectic counterfeit artist. The movie mesmerized Maverick. And, prior to that film, the 1983 coming-of-age classic, and break-out film for Tom Cruise, “Risky Business,” also influenced Maverick to “want to do his own thing in life.” Shortly after seeing “To Live and Die in L.A.” when it debuted in November of ’85, and he was screening it for details at the Buckhead Draft & Cinema over and over at least 15 times in its first two weeks of release, a then 24-year-old Maverick was devising his own Master Counterfeiting Plan.

Paper is Half the Battle…

Maverick would befriend and then pay hand-picked print shop owners $500 to have the run of the shop overnight, using these shops as his own “Printing University” to master his new craft. He got the right font, ink, plates, and paper. “Paper is half the battle,” says Maverick. “I had to investigate what exact kind of paper the US Savings Bonds were printed on, which is kind of a suspicious thing to do, contacting these paper mills— being a black man, I decided the perfect way to do that was over the telephone, because they couldn’t see me and I didn’t necessarily sound “Black”… I’m not complaining, that’s just the way it is, so I dealt with it and always had it in the forefront of my mind. “I don’t play the race card”…. “I actually don’t play the race card. In fact, I don’t even refer to myself as ‘African-American,’ I’m Black, and I’m not African, I’m American. It’s by default, purchased ownership of my antecedents who were ‘imported’ here and stripped of their names and identification and were given the American-European names of their owners.

So here in America, black people are just scrutinized more, especially in the South, it’s just a fact of life that anyone who is black lives with from birth to death. I’m used to it, it’s been that way since I was a kid. Hell, it wasn’t just the white bank tellers, even the black bank tellers scrutinized me harder, a ‘fellow black brother or sister’ you might say, would put the magnifying glass of scrutiny on me more than they ever would my white counterfeit caper cohorts. So, even the black bankers looked at me differently than they would a white! And NOT with admiration mind you.”

There’s the Art of the Close…

Understanding his surroundings and wanting to make a great deal of cash, a young Maverick knew counterfeiting was for him, but still bounced around odd jobs to keep money coming in while he learned his new craft. One such job where he cut his teeth and got to use his gift of gab was in a boiler room as a telemarketer for MCI-Sprint Telecommunications in their early days. There he learned the art of the ‘close’ and the subtle nuances of verbal communications and human nature. Meanwhile, he perfected counterfeiting the E-Series 1976 Commemorative Bicentennial US Savings Bond. So exact, down to computer key card punch-out patterns he painstakingly re-created the bond. He created, and counterfeited, other nuances that he didn’t technically need, but thought would help his cause. For example, he even replicated the US Treasury envelope that such a bond would arrive in, complete with the return address and a postmark.

“Drugs Are Not My Caper”…

It was the mid-1980s and cocaine and other drugs were big, but despite offers of large sums of money to deal or run drugs, Maverick always declined. “I didn’t mess with drugs. I didn’t do drugs, nor push them, they just mess everything and everyone up, they had no part in my caper. You had to be 100-percent ‘there’ to do what I did,” he said. With more and more films being released that glorify the classic Drug Dealer such as “American Gangster”, “Scarface” and the recent release of the true story of “White Boy Rick”. The Drug Dealer and his tales have always found traction in the Crime genre. But it never fascinated me and I think the time has come for the “finesse Criminal” the “Smooth Operator” true story to be told.

Atlanta’s Elite & a Run With the NFL…

Maverick was confident. After all, only eight years earlier when he was 16, he was hob-knobbing with adults at elite clubs. Also at 16, he landed a cushy valet job after he had gained the trust and impressed the boss at the then-white members-only Cherokee Towne Club, an elite exclusive white-only country club not far down the road from the Georgia Governor’s Mansion. Maverick enjoyed talking to the rich men and women, including an Atlanta business tycoon and up-and-coming media mogul named Ted Turner, who, after young Maverick introduced himself, Turner said “glad to have you aboard here, good luck son,” and shook his hand. The ambitious young Maverick even had a couple of stints trying out with two NFL football teams. First, in 1983 with the Houston Oilers and then again in 1984 with the newly-transplanted Indianapolis Colts. Eventually making it down to the very last cut with the Colts, Maverick would say of his time in the NFL: “My Linebacker Coach for the Colts, Rick Venturi, told me that I could play ball at the NFL level and it was a big dream of mine to do so. But getting cut twice from two different teams sobered me up quick from that dream and I wouldn’t be putting myself back in that mental and physical meat grinder for possible disappointment or rejection ever again.”

The Maverick’s All-Star Team…

But it was the eventual mastering of the art of counterfeiting and hand-picking his own All-American team that brought him his riches. Maverick made U.S. Treasury-quality bonds and cashed them in with his new team, from 1985 to 1990. He bought his favorite car, a 1985 Porsche 928S, with cash. He had the finest clothes, a Penthouse in Atlanta and Houston, Rolex Watches. He insisted on his male crew wearing only Brookes Brothers suits and Johnston Murphy loafers. The gals on his counterfeit team exclusively wore Donna Karan, Chanel, and St. John. He had a beautiful, elegant and very supportive girlfriend. A posh beachfront home in Malibu. Millions of dollars in cash on hand. It was an intoxicating lifestyle, to say the least.

The Reckoning…

But eventually the jig was up and Maverick had to come face to face with the “G-Men,” as he likes to call them. It was in 1990, during one of his “laying low for a while periods,” when he got a phone call from one of his female members of his team. “When she called my gut immediately fell. I instinctively knew something wasn’t right. We never discussed any business over the phone! As it turns out, she had been caught by the FBI and my larceny instincts told me she was trying to set me up to help herself with the Feds. I acted gullible on that call and talked like I was being open, even going so far as to agree to meet her at one of our favorite hook up spots in Atlanta, The Varsity, without saying a word that would implicate me. I told her to call me when she was ready. But as soon as I hung up the phone, I knew the proverbial jig was up. Still, I wasn’t caught, I never was captured, but I had to decide if I wanted to run or turn myself in.

To the Incinerator…

“My girlfriend at the time said, ‘let’s run Daddy… We have all the money we could want, we have passports, different I.D.’s, and as far as we know, they aren’t suspecting you yet.’ But I was in a quandary. Paranoia sets in – it kind of feels like the ending of the movie ‘Good Fellas.’ Now paranoia isn’t necessarily a bad thing for me mind you, as I never used drugs, and so my take on paranoia is that it’s just a heightened sense of awareness.” “So with great calculation, I took my whole stockpile, $8 or $9 million in counterfeit bonds, to an incinerator I knew of at a hospital in Westwood, and burned them all that night. Then I drove up the coast toward Ventura, thinking I was being tailed by the Feds, but I wasn’t. The next day, I came back down the coast and stopped at the Casa Malibu Hotel in Malibu, Calif., and thought it out all day.” “I decided to turn myself in. My girlfriend at the time was supportive and even found me, my great Superlawyer.” Maverick’s lawyer was a former US Attorney and Bureau Chief of the Federal Los Angeles Strike Force, James (“Jim”) Henderson, Sr. Accompanied by Henderson, Maverick turned himself into Federal authorities at the Metropolitan Detention Center (MDC) in Los Angeles in 1990.

Debriefing & Charges…

Ironically, at first, the Feds wouldn’t believe Maverick, nor take him into custody. “They told me, ‘black men typically don’t counterfeit or run counterfeiting operations.”After proving he was the mastermind of the bond counterfeiting ring, he was fully debriefed by the US Attorney’s Office, US Secret Service, and the FBI. To reduce his sentence he cooperated with authorities, giving them a full and detailed debriefing of his craft and executed operations. “I suppose on some level the government was embarrassed this happened, as were the banks. And they certainly didn’t want to advertise my case by putting it out into the mass media, so they chose not to make an example of me.
But they didn’t want it to happen again, so they agreed to let me give them a highly detailed debriefing on everything and how I did it. I had the arcane luxury of being the first to have ever done the stunt.” “I was interviewed for over 100 hours over several separate sessions for three months, all with FBI polygraph examiners hooked up on me, which I passed. If I lied, I wouldn’t have any credibility with the U.S. Secret Service or the U.S. Attorney’s Office.” The veracity of his representations to federal agents had to pass their tests. Maverick says one of the Assistant US Attorneys, Andrew S. Pitt, worked closely with him and Attorney Henderson and that Pitt stated at the time he had never seen anything remotely close to the sophistication and detail like this case in his tenure as an Assistant US District Attorney.

“I am not a bank robber…” “At first, (the Federal Agents) called me one of the most prolific bank robbers ever, and I was up on bank robbing charges. I told them, ‘I never held anyone up! I never even carried a gun! The money was given to me fair and square as I’d like to say. I didn’t force the bank tellers or demand money from them, they gave it to me!’” He said his lawyer laughed and told them “robbery is forced, and have you ever heard of a forced $20 million dollar bank robbery over a five-year span of time?” Eventually, Maverick was convicted of Securities Fraud, considered a white-collar crime. Maverick said the case itself was classified and placed under a sequestered closed seal by a Federal judge’s order to ensure national and US banking security. Because of his acceptance of responsibility and invaluable cooperation with federal authorities during his debriefing, Maverick said his maximum sentence of 50 years he was facing under federal sentencing guidelines, was reduced. The court granted and Maverick received a ‘downward departure’ and he was sentenced to five years – 10 times less than the 50 years that was staring him in the face – in the minimum-security facility at Lompoc Federal Correctional Institution, where he did his time, beginning in 1990 and ending upon his release in December 1995. Maverick pulling off the stunt is probably the most compelling reason that the US Treasury later stopped issuing paper U.S. Savings Bonds into circulation. All US Savings Bonds are now issued electronically (paperless) only.

Disgruntled Employees & Sour Grapes…

“You definitely make some enemies doing what I did, the female member of my team who got caught and tried to set me up, broke two of my rules: (1) she acted alone without my consent when we all were on hiatus and lying low. And (2) she hit the same bank market a second time,” Maverick says. “And in this online age, she and another enemy have taken to making it their top priority to smear my name online with a litany of sordid allegations, even accusing me of test-driving a car and never returning it. You might say this gal is acting like a disgruntled former ‘employee.’” “Look, I know my counterfeiting operation was wrong, but before that time and in the 23 years since I have had no further criminal record. There has been some innuendo aimed at me, but I have no further police, FBI or US Secret Service contact nor any arrests or convictions at all. I know it wasn’t right, but I was young and my judgments at the time were reflective of my ‘by any means necessary’ mentality and misguided youth.” “I never was violent to anybody; the most I carried was a fingernail file. The people on my crew were basically good people, Christian, the men were good family men, and one of the men on my crew originally started with me because he needed help for his kids’ medical expenses. You see how Wall Street CEO’s steal from everyday people and energy companies like Enron steal from hard-working individuals.” “I never stole or plied my craft and master confidence skills on good honest people. I stole from the government-backed banks. The very same banks that got ‘bailed out’ years later of billions of dollars of bad loans they made during the housing bubble, only to turn around and make record earnings and yet refuse to loan good American people money to get back on their feet.” “So yes, I took out my vengeance to get money directly on those FDIC Insured Banks that would never make someone like me or you a loan or just have the highest degree of disqualifying scrutiny on most any Black person or so-called minority who was trying to get a loan from them. But in the end of doing those crimes, I took full acceptance of my responsibility and turned myself in, helped the government unravel the caper and did my time and repaid my debt to society.”

A Parole Officer Worth His Weight In Gold…

Maverick says that once he had done his time and was released on parole, he was blessed with getting a Godsend of a highly respected parole officer. He credits US Federal Parole Agent Donald I. Bizar, who at the time was a 30-year veteran with the Bureau of Prisons as a Federal Parole Officer. Bizar had handled many “high level” ex-cons, like Wall Street junk bond king Michael Milken and several other high profile white-collar felons, including Maverick. “Mr. Bizar was a royal flush of luck, right out of the draw of the deck of the ‘Bureau of Prisons shuffle.’ He encouraged me not to give up on living a productive and legal post-incarceration life. Mr. Bizar told me that I was one of his last cases before he was set to retire after 30 years of service to the BOP. He didn’t want to bust me back to the joint but he would do so without hesitation if I was one inch out of line.” “He was a hard-boiled old school pistol-packing type of P.O. who had seen it all and let me know off the top what his expectations were of me. I respected the man greatly. He was hard on me but he was fair. On the very last day of my released custody on parole, he met and treated me for lunch at one of my favorite restaurants, Kate Mantilini in Beverly Hills, and told me these words I’ll never forget: ‘Maverick do something positive with your complex calculated and creative mind. I’ve seen a lot of cases in my 30 years and I don’t condone what you did in the least! But not a single one of them had been done with the brilliance, style, flair, and nerves of steel it took for you to do what you did. You truly can do anything that you set your mind to. You’re lucky in your process of The United States of America versus you; that you weren’t put away for 50 years or for the rest of your life. Don’t ever forget that Maverick!’ …and I never have.”

My Amazing Business…

It has been said that Mavericks’ confidence and bond counterfeiting caper was one of the most ingenious and imaginative criminal stunts ever conceived and successfully executed to perfection in the criminal history of the United States Treasury and US Banking system. “I come from modest beginnings,” Maverick reflects. “I was just a clever ambitious Southern black boy who always worked hard at whatever I did, who wanted something out of life even if I had to find a smooth criminal way to get it. I was put up for adoption by my biological mother who gave me a unique name to live up to “Maverick.” “My Birth Certificate says I’m ‘Colored.’ In my lifetime I’ve been classified as Colored, Negro. Black and now a so-called African-American. Amazing. But I’m very proud of who I am. I’m proud to be a Native American. I’m proud to be Black American. I was blessed to have won the Super Lotto of loving adoptive parents who did all they could for me and sacrificed so much to raise me right.

But true to my Maverick birth name, I just became a free spirit who was separated from my biological mother. But as I grew up, I became more of a nonconformist as an unorthodox, unconventional young man who started embracing rebellious philosophies and ideas. I was fearless to examine the rules and being an only child, I was a natural lone dissenter. I was an emerging intellectual, who was evolving as a confidence artist and as a young Black man who took an independent stand apart.” “I got a chance to go off into the orbit of another life, right or wrong I have very little regret if any. The stories I have to tell and the life I’ve lead has been such an evolution of growth in the ethos of the human spirit. So far it’s been a hell of a ride!” “At the end of that wild chapter of my life and after 24+ years of silence on the matter since, I guess it’s OK now to let the whole world know my secret… (I think the statute of limitations has run out now) that between 1985 and 1990, being a Master Confidence Man and Elite high-level Counterfeiter in America was my amazing business. “And I declare that I was The Greatest Counterfeiter & Confidence Man of All Time. Bar None.”

About Maverick Miles…

Maverick, a Southern gentleman through and through, was born in Texas and raised and educated in Atlanta Georgia. Austin Texas, Cambridge Mass., Baltimore Md. and Los Angeles California. He has lived in Los Angeles the last 22 years, ever since he was released from Federal Custody and is a passionate classic car collector and one of the country’s top award-winning Porsche and American Muscle car automotive customizers and restoration specialist.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
No. It’s not easy leaving a criminal past behind and living and honest life on the straight and narrow. Finding employment is impossible and even personal relationships are very difficult to forge and develop into anything truly meaningful. Moreover, no one wants to forget or forgive your Criminal past… even if you’ve never committed  nother crime. But you have to know how to validate YOURSELF.

We live in an age where Trolls, Haters, and negativity is easy to be heaped upon you. The overall societal order has you marked for life as a criminal and that is a very massive struggle to overcome and persevere through. Not just professionally but personally as well.

You have to have thick skin and not get hung up on “outside approval” and superficial validation of your creativity and personal self-worth. If you believe in yourself first then the rest will sort itself out in the overall mix of life… If you give everything that you have to life… life will give everything that it has to you.

The Maverick Collection – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
I had to gravitate towards what I was passionate about and find a way monetize that into ways and means for myself. I started out collecting the Porsche 928 with just my interest in the car itself and this was and became my salvation and security. I took that passion for finding and restoring this forgotten relics from Porsche when no one was interested in the car and they could (and still) be had for fairly cheap.

I did this at a time when other Porsche enthusiasts were making money hand over fist with the Porsche 911 and Porsche 356 models. In fact, I was often laughed at and mocked ridiculed and hated on for my love of and passion restoring and customizing the 928 Porsche. Sometimes brutally, racially and with malice.

I didn’t start out as a business or even had any intent on making a living at it. I was just focused on living. And doing so by incorporating the Porsche 928 into my lifestyle and way of life. In specializing in hunting, finding, restoring and customizing the Porsche 928, I quickly gained a reputation for having a special hand with these rare and unique Porsche models. (as well as the haters who tried to sully my reputation outing me as an ex-felon) But I never let that stop me or waste my time worrying about who liked me or who respected me. The proof was in the work and in the finished product. I was able to parlay that into work on the Porsche 944 and 924 and continue to expand my collection and creativity in restoring and preserving these remarkable cars from Porsche. Winning a number of Regional and National awards with Porsche Club of America and placing myself and my restoration work among the tops in the Country in the Porsche Arena.

What is “success” or “successful” for you?
I think you’re successful if you love what you do… and you’re growing in knowledge and scholarship with your passion for doing whatever it is that gives you joy to do it.

Don’t short change yourselves… The opinion of yourself is what counts the most! I’ve learned in life that making a mistake DOES NOT make you a failure. The business of living is to rise above a mistake. That’s what success is. Not just being successful. The whole business of success is the capacity to rise above a blunder or past failure. You do that by using your imagination constructively. You must think creatively and act creatively… refuse to be sidetracked by negativity and negative feelings. Learn to do one thing at a time. Learn to live in the present… and let the past go! Forget your past. If negativity is overwhelming and defies a solution… you sleep on it… NOT with it. That way you commit your success self-(sub) conscious mechanism to work for you while you sleep. Take time to learn the art of relaxation and be good to yourself at all times. You can improve your self-image when you live in the present… live in the NOW. Forget your past failures. Refuse to let past failures dominate your thoughts of the present day. Concentrate on your successes! Remember them… ALL OF THEM!

Lastly, these have been my keys to success.
1) Forgive everyone who is done you wrong. Let it go with no strings attached!
2) Forgive yourself.
3) See yourself at your best. See yourself as a person of CONFIDENCE!
4) Learn to keep up with yourself. NOT someone else.
5) Stop concentrating on your negative past!
6) Let go of that 50-pound bag of negativity that is on your back.
7) Learn to live happily and successfully.
8) Happiness IS A HABIT!
9) Happiness truly belongs to you! Just like your eyes, your heart, your heartbeat!
10) S U C C E S S…

S =Sense of Direction. (Your Goals in life)
U= Understanding. (Your needs and the needs of others)
C= Courage. (Be fearless and fear nothing but GOD)
C= Compassion.
E=Esteem (self-respect)
S= Self-acceptance. You are somebody even if you’ve made a mistake you rise above.
S= Self Confidence.

You’re the product of your imagination. You’re the byproduct of your thoughts. That’s why it’s so important to think positively about yourself to reach self-fulfillment. If you think well of yourself, and highly of yourself, you will indeed succeded in life and manifest your lofty dreams.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
@ajwilldesign, Heavy Hitters Magazine, Amanda K. Green, (all selfies by Maverick)

Suggest a story: VoyageLA is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.

2 Comments

  1. Winn Reece

    August 12, 2019 at 19:27

    Wow!
    What an amazing, fascinating, positive and inspiring life and business story.
    Proof that drive, intestinal fortitude and the will to succeed can become a way of life.
    Bravo to you for beating the odds Mr. Maverick!

  2. Jessica

    August 19, 2019 at 21:44

    Talk about beating the odds. This is truly an amazing story. Maverick you are fascinating,courageous & extremely talented. I’ve been intrigued by you since knowing you. Proud to call you my friend.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

More in

  • LA’s Most Inspiring Stories

    Every neighborhood in LA has its own vibe, style, culture and history, but what consistently amazes us is not what differentiates...

    Local StoriesNovember 29, 2021
  • Portraits of the Valley

    It’s more important to understand someone than to judge them. We think the first step to understanding someone is asking them...

    Local StoriesNovember 19, 2021
  • Portraits of Hollywood

    It’s more important to understand someone than to judge them. We think the first step to understanding someone is asking them...

    Local StoriesNovember 19, 2021
  • Hidden Gems: Local Businesses & Creatives You Should Know

    Every day we have a choice. We can support an up and coming podcaster, try a new family-run restaurant, join a...

    Local StoriesNovember 17, 2021
  • Introverted Entrepreneur Success Stories: Episode 4

    Voyage is excited to present episode 4 of The Introverted Entrepreneur Success Stories show with our wonderful host and sales expert...

    Local StoriesOctober 3, 2021
  • Heart to Heart with Whitley: Episode 4

    You are going to love our next episode where Whitley interviews the incredibly successful, articulate and inspiring Monica Stockhausen. If you...

    Whitley PorterSeptember 1, 2021
  • Introverted Entrepreneur Success Stories: Episode 3

    We are thrilled to present Introverted Entrepreneur Success Stories, a show we’ve launched with sales and marketing expert Aleasha Bahr. Aleasha...

    Local StoriesAugust 25, 2021
  • Introverted Entrepreneur Success Stories: Episode 2

    We are thrilled to present Introverted Entrepreneur Success Stories, a show we’ve launched with sales and marketing expert Aleasha Bahr. Aleasha...

    Aleasha BahrJuly 21, 2021
  • Heart to Heart with Whitley: Episode 3

    During Women’s Month I had the honor of having a heart to heart with two powerful women in the creative space....

    Whitley PorterJune 26, 2021