Welcome, Guest: Join Nairaland / LOGIN! / Trending / Recent / New
Stats: 2,715,453 members, 6,417,948 topics. Date: Monday, 02 August 2021 at 08:06 PM

10 Of The Biggest Ponzi Schemes In History - Investment - Nairaland

Nairaland Forum / Nairaland / General / Investment / 10 Of The Biggest Ponzi Schemes In History (2795 Views)

9 Popular Online Ponzi Schemes In Nigeria - What Are Regulators Doing? / Things You Really Need To Know About Ponzi Schemes / Why Ponzi Schemes Always Fail (Graphic And Mathematical Proof) (2) (3) (4)

(1) (Reply) (Go Down)

10 Of The Biggest Ponzi Schemes In History by Big4wig(m): 12:25pm On Jan 31, 2017
There have been many famous Ponzi schemes throughout history, and especially in recent years. These fraudulent investments have affected everyone, from the poor elderly to rich Hollywood stars alike. The most disturbing thing about the Ponzi schemes in recent years are that they are carried out by some incredibly brilliant businessmen, who know that their plans aren’t sustainable. If these men focused their energy on legitimate endeavors, they’d probably succeed and not ruin their own lives, as well as the lives of others. Here are ten of the most shocking Ponzi schemes ever. Some you might know and some you may have never heard of, but the all the facts and figures will certainly surprise you.

Source : http://www.therichest.com/rich-list/nation/10-of-the-biggest-ponzi-schemes-in-history
Re: 10 Of The Biggest Ponzi Schemes In History by Big4wig(m): 12:25pm On Jan 31, 2017
10 Charles Ponzi

Charles Ponzi was the man who started it all. In the 1920’s, Ponzi promised investors a whopping 50% return in 45 days, or 100% in 90 days on of all things, international postal coupons, which he never actually purchased. He earned $15 million and became a millionaire in only six months. When Ponzi was caught one year later, investors received a mere $5 million back. He was charged with 86 counts of mail fraud and sentenced to 5 years. During his time in federal prison, he was prosecuted again in Massachusetts, but Ponzi claimed double jeopardy and his case went to the Supreme Court. He was then sentenced to seven to nine years in state prison. After Ponzi was released, he launched another scheme, where he sold real estate that was literally underwater. Not surprisingly, the namesake schemer was jailed yet again, and ultimately died penniless in Brazil, working as a translator.

Re: 10 Of The Biggest Ponzi Schemes In History by Big4wig(m): 12:26pm On Jan 31, 2017
9. Lou Pearlman

If the name Lou Pearlman sounds familiar, it’s because he was one of the hottest music producers in the 90’s, having worked with ‘NSYNC, LFO and The Backstreet Boys. In addition to producing music, he also produced one of the biggest and longest-running Ponzi schemes in US history, having stolen more than $300 million. For over 20 years, Pearlman convinced individuals and corporations to invest in two companies that only existed on paper. He also created fake financial statements to secure bank loans. In 2008, Pearlman was convicted of money laundering, conspiracy and making false statements during a bankruptcy proceeding. He was sentenced to 25 years in prison.

Re: 10 Of The Biggest Ponzi Schemes In History by Big4wig(m): 12:27pm On Jan 31, 2017
8. Michael Eugene Kelly 

Michael Eugene Kelly ran a massive Ponzi scheme, defrauding nearly 8,000 investors, mostly retired or elderly people out of about $500 million. This was not a traditional Ponzi scheme because most Ponzi schemes leave nothing left to return to its victims, whereas Kelly had millions of dollars of real estate and other assets. Kelly’s scheme consisted of creating “universal leases” which payed high commissions to brokers who sold what were basically time-share investments. Investors could stay in the hotel rooms for one week a year or use another company, which was not surprisingly owned by Kelly, to lease the rooms at an annual return rate of 11%. Every single investor chose this option. Kelly remained in Federal Custody from 2006-2012, when he was released under house arrest pending a $10 million bond signed by his family members, so he could receive treatment for colon cancer. Kelly died in 2013.

Re: 10 Of The Biggest Ponzi Schemes In History by Big4wig(m): 12:27pm On Jan 31, 2017
7. Gerald Payne

When someone runs a church, it’s safe to say that this person is a man of God, but sometimes that God is the almighty dollar. In the mid 1990’s, Pastor Gerald Payne ran Greater Ministries International, where his greatest accomplishment was bilking 18,000 people out of approximately $20 million. How did he get these devoted churchgoers to hand over their cash? Well, it wasn’t through passing around a basket. Using scripture, he told the members of the church that if they invested with him and the church, they could double their money. Payne got away with his scheme for a while by cashing checks written for under the $10,000 reporting limit, but ultimately, the IRS caught-on and traced it back to Payne and his wife’s checking account. Payne claimed the cash wasn’t invested, but gifted and that their first Amendment rights as a church were violated. Payne was sentenced to 27 years in prison and his wife, Betty, was sentenced to just less than 13 years.

Re: 10 Of The Biggest Ponzi Schemes In History by Big4wig(m): 12:27pm On Jan 31, 2017
6. Scott Rothstein

Scott Rothstein is currently serving a 50-year prison sentence, for a $1.4 billion Ponzi scheme. The largest Ponzi schemer in the history of Florida, the now disbarred lawyer Rothstein lived a very flashy lifestyle, owning over 200 luxury watches, Bugattis and other cars, as well as doing his business on his very own golden toilet. Rothstein convinced investors to purchase fabricated structured settlements. Investors were guaranteed a return of at least 20% in 3 months. On January 27, 2010, he pleaded guilty to 5 federal crimes. During the investigation, his wife, Kim tried to hide jewelry and other assets, but she too was found, and was forced to serve 1.5 years in prison.

Re: 10 Of The Biggest Ponzi Schemes In History by Big4wig(m): 12:30pm On Jan 31, 2017
5. Gary Gauthier

Gary Gauthier hosted a radio show called, It’s God’s Money, in Tampa. It probably wasn’t God’s intention to have him steal $6 million from 38 senior citizens in Pinellas, Pasco and Hillsborough counties. He promised his victims an 8%-40% return on investments in real estate. Gauthier lured his victims by telling listeners to call him, and he would set up a personal meeting at their homes or at his office. The scheme lasted from 2005-2010. To increase his legitimacy, investors (who presumably received a return) would call into the radio show and talk, and talk about how they got rich quick. Ultimately, Gauthier was charged with a laundry list of charges, from racketeering to security fraud.

Re: 10 Of The Biggest Ponzi Schemes In History by Big4wig(m): 12:31pm On Jan 31, 2017
4. Adriaan Nieuwoudt

In 1984, South African entrepreneur, Adriaan Nieuwoudt decided to market a beauty product based on an ingredient found in his grandmother’s milk-based cultures, known as “kubus.” Nieuwoudt sold off dried-plant “activator” kits to investors, so they could grow the milk cultures themselves in a “work at home” type scheme. They’d sell the grown cultures back to the company and in turn, would be used as an ingredient for this beauty product that didn’t actually exist. Didn’t anyone wonder why the company didn’t just grow the culture themselves, instead of selling the kits? Furthermore, this entire operation sounds unsanitary. While the scheme sounds sort of legitimate, the problem was that only one unit per week would be bought back, regardless of how many activator kits were purchased. Nieuwoudt was finally stopped when the operation was declared an illegal lottery by the South African government.

Re: 10 Of The Biggest Ponzi Schemes In History by Big4wig(m): 12:33pm On Jan 31, 2017
3. Tom Petters

Tom Petters ran a $3.65 billion Ponzi scheme, where investors funded non-existent electronic goods, to sell to big box retailers who weren’t buying them. A successful legitimate businessman, Petters owned many well-known large companies, including Fingerhut and Polaroid, which made him appear trustworthy in the eyes of investors. On Decemeber 2, 2009, Petters was charged with 20 counts of fraud, including money laundering, wire fraud and mail fraud. He is currently serving a 50-year prison sentence in a federal facility in Leavenworth, Kansas. Petters’ was the largest frauder the state of Minnesota had ever seen.

Re: 10 Of The Biggest Ponzi Schemes In History by Big4wig(m): 12:33pm On Jan 31, 2017
2. Reed Slatkin

Reed Slatkin was the co-founder of technology company, Earthlink and a Scientology Minister. Beginning in 1986, Slatkin ran a Ponzi scheme for fifteen years, through an unlicensed “investment club,” where he promised a 24% return. He stole $592 million from nearly 800 people, guilty of 15 counts of fraud, conspiracy and money laundering. Many of Slatkin’s victims were also Scientologists and includes news anchor, Greta Van Susteren and Pearl Harbor producer, Armyan Bernstein. Slatkin served his sentence and was released from a half-way house, in July 2013.

Re: 10 Of The Biggest Ponzi Schemes In History by Big4wig(m): 12:34pm On Jan 31, 2017
1. Bernie Madoff


Bernie Madoff is presumably the most famous Ponzi schemer, other than Ponzi himself, operating the largest fraud in US history. Madoff stole $65 billion from investors and committed over 11 federal felonies. Madoff lived a flashy, luxurious life by most standards, but less so than, for example, Scott Rothstein. Madoff received the maximum sentence of 150 years in prison, which he is currently serving in Raleigh, North Carolina. Madoff ran a wealth management company in New York, which started as a legitimate business, but ultimately turned the entire business into one giant Ponzi scheme. His son, Mark, who worked with him, claimed not to be involved in the fraud, but committed suicide in December 2010. HBO is currently making a movie about Madoff based on the book, The Wizard of Lies.

Re: 10 Of The Biggest Ponzi Schemes In History by 0luwatope(m): 9:29pm On Jan 31, 2017
My fellow mavrodians
Re: 10 Of The Biggest Ponzi Schemes In History by Datevilme: 10:12pm On Jan 31, 2017
Smart men...regardless, check my signature.
Re: 10 Of The Biggest Ponzi Schemes In History by Ab4all(m): 10:39am On Feb 01, 2017
Datevilme:
Smart men...regardless, check my signature.
smartness right, but sincerely they arent smart. what i see here is people killing the essence of humanity just to enrich their pocket and this trend will go on and on. i wish there is a harsher penalty for this schemes. i have learnt some lessons, thanks in no small part to kcspeaks. the earlier we understand that robbing peter to pay paul is not an investment, the better for us. MMM has done more harm than good compounding the recession in the country, alots thought it was a way out not knowing they are enriching some folks and themselves through huge traffic on their site. lets all say #NOTOPONZISCHEMES

1 Like

Re: 10 Of The Biggest Ponzi Schemes In History by dilini(m): 11:17am On Feb 01, 2017
Are you tied down with office work or any job
concerns that does not give you enough time to
make any side/extra cash that should augment/
boost your salary?

Are you a fresh graduate looking for ways to raise cash for upkeep while looking for a job?

Are you unemployed and looking for a means of sustenance while job-hunting?

Let me show you how you can be pocketing
30k weekly just like I am doing without even
breaking a sweat in this recession.

This is real and genuine!

(Please Note: This is not a referral thing
neither is it a scam, I am a full beneficiary of
this after losing my job last year).

If you are serious and interested drop your
email/whatsapp number here and I will send
the info to you immediately.

PS: Only an unwise person will finish reading
this information and not take action.
Re: 10 Of The Biggest Ponzi Schemes In History by Jessestunch: 11:29am On Feb 01, 2017
These are all old school ponzi schemes with central accounts being involved.. These days smarter men have come with up with newer inventions where they all claim that there is no central account and it is all peer to peer contributions... But in the real sense it is not also so, as these men also channel majority of investors money by proxy to their account thereby fooling majority of investors..

They all end in the same manner.... making 10% of the people richer and 90% of the people poorer... While the 10 % will be singing in joy, the 90% will be dishing out echoes of lamentations.

All ponzi scheme apply the principle of " robbing peter to pay paul" . If you must play the game, play it with money you can afford to lose. grin
Re: 10 Of The Biggest Ponzi Schemes In History by Lanty01(m): 12:15pm On Feb 01, 2017
Just last Sunday a lady friend asked me to come over for an important discussion

I was curious to hear what she wanted to say only for this lady to start preaching about how i can become reach by investing in Ultimate Circler.

That was when i realised that our people will never learn.
Re: 10 Of The Biggest Ponzi Schemes In History by Big4wig(m): 10:15am On Feb 03, 2017
Lanty01:
Just last Sunday a lady friend asked me to come over for an important discussion

I was curious to hear what she wanted to say only for this lady to start preaching about how i can become reach by investing in Ultimate Circler.

That was when i realised that our people will never learn.
lol cycler is dead jor... You need to bring people n NIgerians av learnt from MMM N co
Re: 10 Of The Biggest Ponzi Schemes In History by Ab4all(m): 3:43am On Feb 04, 2017
dilini:
Are you tied down with office work or any job
concerns that does not give you enough time to
make any side/extra cash that should augment/
boost your salary?

Are you a fresh graduate looking for ways to raise cash for upkeep while looking for a job?

Are you unemployed and looking for a means of sustenance while job-hunting?

Let me show you how you can be pocketing
30k weekly just like I am doing without even
breaking a sweat in this recession.

This is real and genuine!

(Please Note: This is not a referral thing
neither is it a scam, I am a full beneficiary of
this after losing my job last year).

If you are serious and interested drop your
email/whatsapp number here and I will send
the info to you immediately.

PS: Only an unwise person will finish reading
this information and not take action.
U said only unwise ppl will see this without contacting u right? ok good.Mr wise man! learn not to discuss so-called-investment behind close door

(1) (Reply)

How To Make $220 On Quora: Build An Online Business Now You’re At HOME! / Making Money Online In Nigeria? How Real Is It? / With Just 800k You Can Buy A Land In One Of The Fastest Growing City In Lagos

(Go Up)

Sections: politics (1) business autos (1) jobs (1) career education (1) romance computers phones travel sports fashion health
religion celebs tv-movies music-radio literature webmasters programming techmarket

Links: (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7) (8) (9) (10)

Nairaland - Copyright © 2005 - 2021 Oluwaseun Osewa. All rights reserved. See How To Advertise. 147
Disclaimer: Every Nairaland member is solely responsible for anything that he/she posts or uploads on Nairaland.