From Ponzi schemes and ‘419’ frauds, to duff Italian suits and ‘bulletproof’ powers, the Middle East is no stranger to the (often bizarre) arts of the conman.
February 27, 2010 11:03 by kippreport
Carlo Ponzi has a lot to answer for. Back in Boston in the 1920s, the Italian immigrant (pictured) found a fast, ingenious, and highly fraudulent way to make a quick buck. It was the birth of the eponymous ‘Ponzi scheme’.
Such schemes promise to pay investors high returns – but all are destined to fail because any money actually paid out to the early investors comes from subsequent investors.
Over 100,000 Americans are fooled into the schemes every year. The most famous scheme was concocted by Bernard Madoff, who defrauded thousands of people in what has been called the largest scam ever committed by one person. Madoff was eventually sentenced to 150 years in prison for his $50 billion Ponzi scheme.