As for the U.S. arrest warrant for Ritossa, the Pelham Manor Police Department confirmed vanity lounge that it “was first issued 10 years ago for breach of protection order and remains in place today”.
Her daughters were losing their home. Their mother was drowning in debt. But Ritossa was busy building a new life with a fabricated character.
He began calling himself the president of the Ritossa Family Office and bragging about his “30 years” of investment experience. Never mind that he was born in 1969, which would have meant he started working in his early teens. In truth, his professional life had collapsed. He had not held “executive positions at Nomura, Barclays Capital, Morgan Stanley, BNP Paribas and Bankers Trust”, as he claims online. Instead, sources familiar with his work at each institution confirmed that he held junior to mid-level jobs. And at Barclays, he was reportedly fired over “compliance issues” involving the improper release of proprietary banking information, sources told me. (Barclays declined to give further details.)
Records held by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, which oversees U.S. brokerages, show Ritossa’s tenure on Wall Street has been more itinerant than “distinguished.” For 12 years, he worked at eight companies, which made it difficult to build a business portfolio, let alone make a fortune from it. His middle run in Manhattan finance — as well as his last gig, at AlphaSource Capital Securities — ended in a whimper after he refused to take FINRA-mandated compliance training and left the company. “When he was at AlphaSource, he clearly didn’t live in luxury,” recalled a former colleague when I asked him if Ritossa came from the money. “He was trying to make a living. I think he couldn’t cover his expenses, and at some point he accepted defeat and changed his strategy.
Part of this new strategy was to completely overhaul its internet presence.
At a time when fingerprints are harder than ever to erase, Ritossa has done the impossible: her online profile is smudge-free. Rather, he is a “family office influencer, impact investor…much sought-after mentor, philanthropist, author and speaker.” Not to mention “a 2021 nominee for the Nobel Peace Prize”. His Internet persona, in fact, is a constellation of immaculate biographies, astroturfed articles, and glowing websites that bind and reinforce one another.
It is not a coincidence. The cyber experts I consulted scanned the dark web, deep web, proprietary databases and a myriad of open source intelligence platforms and found evidence of “data hydrology”, a systematic effort to water down or erase unfavorable information and replace it with a shimmering new narrative. It wasn’t some mundane search engine optimization that people and businesses use to boost their profile and bury their weaknesses. In the opinion of these experts, this was next-level crap, because as far as the internet is concerned, Anthony Ritossa arrived on planet Earth ten years ago and has been doing amazing things since.
This image overhaul might not have been possible, however, without His Highness Mahmoud Salah-Al-Din Assaf, a man royal watchers in the Middle East call a “milk sheikh”, someone who may have exaggerated or even created his honorary title. . In 2015, Assaf, by his own admission, certified his status with Rome’s Heraldrys Institute, which sells documents online describing a family history, coat of arms, crest, coat of arms and nobility references – for $200 to $300, depending on whether the client wants a PDF or a handmade paper version.
Prince Assaf, in fact, was an American defense contractor. But before long, he launched some notable businesses that eventually became associated with a California strip mall. One of them disinfects car interiors. Another washes, waxes, rehabilitates and rebuilds the public image of “high profile clients”. Zeus & Nova International, registered in the name of Assaf, offers to organize “royal titles awarded by the first noble families of the world”, as well as doctorates and honorary professorships, religious recognitions and memberships in chivalry clubs . The company also offers its customers “access to world-renowned events, from the Oscar Award [sic] ceremonies at Imperial Royal Balls across Europe.
Zeus & Nova is registered in the same Orange County complex as a Mexican restaurant and head lice removal service called Lizzie’s Lice Pickers. When I went to see the place, however, I discovered that Assaf had moved last year, although the company is still active online. I came across “Lizzie” and showed her pictures of Assaf; she confirmed his identity, saying she remembered him working late hours “taking care of overseas stuff”, adding, “I never heard of him being a prince.”
On a Venn diagram from Ritossa World, Assaf served as the “royal patron” for the Knights Society of Elviña and AKBS, which is apt given that Zeus & Nova is sale people titles and honorary degrees. Meanwhile, Assaf’s cohort, Freire-Garabal, the Grand Chancellor of Chivalry, acts as chairman of AKBS and sits on Sir Anthony’s Advisory Council for Summits. As for Ritossa, he became a “gentleman” thanks to the knights and is a senior adviser to Prince Assaf, who awarded Ritossa the Grand Cross of the Royal Order of Banu Assaf at the 2021 gathering in Monaco. (Sir Anthony also received an honorary doctorate from AKBS, where he is believed to be a professor and member of the advisory board.)