A few years ago, the NEW YORK magazine published a fascinatingly dull piece about a “life coach” named Azra Shafi-Schelierini who had been spending plenty of time with the Mets and Yankees. There were anecdotes about how easy she is to talk to, and how Jason Giambi “won’t go to the bathroom without her,” which seems just plain weird. But it never really addressed what it is she does, or more importantly how she made money. People don’t really charge by the hour for this stuff, right?
And so while we see that Ron Darling’s quotable assessment of her physical attributes is certainly correct - assuming Nostradamus wasn’t some gorgeous ex-model lady, of course - her mental faculties may have been overstated just a tad; she’s now in prison on grand larceny after a series of swindles.
First, via the NEW YORK POST:
Azra Shafi-Schelierini, 45, a self-styled life coach and spiritual adviser who has reportedly ministered to ex-Bomber Jason Giambi, former home-run king Mark McGwire and Duchess of York Sarah Ferguson, has been in Rikers Island since July on a Manhattan probation violation linked to a grand-larceny conviction.
Tomorrow, she’s to be sentenced to more time after pleading guilty to drunken driving in Nassau County.
Whoops a daisy. Restaurateur George Giotsas described his dealings with Shafi-Schelierini at her con-artsy-fartsiest to CAN’T STOP THE BLEEDING a couple years ago. While it’s far, far too long to take quotes from, the gist is this: she ordered about $9,000 worth of barbecue food for the Yankees - who didn’t even appear to want all of it - then he spent about three years futilely trying to get payment.
Worse, according to the NEW YORK DAILY NEWS, this is hardly an isolated incident:
Bergen County prosecutor Pia Perez says Shafi-Scagliarini wrote 80 bad checks totaling $96,000 to New Jersey banks and businesses over a two-year period ending in 2005. Perez says Shafi-Scagliarini has repaid the entire sum and has fulfilled the conditions of her probation, making restitution to her victims through a fund run by the state of New Jersey.
But unless these are different con jobs entirely, something’s up here; the NY Post said Azra’s in jail for failing to pay restitution on some schemes dating to 2004, so maybe Perez had been misled. It’s hardly a stretch of the imagination.
It does go to show the power of a banging body and a calm demeanor, though. Men will take attractive women at their word far more often than someone with an eating problem, after all - it’s not like you see beer commercials with Lane Bryant models, after all. But what’s that Bell Biv Devoe always used to say? “Never trust a big butt and a smile?” Indeed, indeed.