109 Charles Ponzi

Full Name: Carlo Pietro Giovanni Guglielmo Tebaldo Ponzi

Charles Ponzi

Date: 8/12/1920

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Charles Ponzi concocted a huge scheme to take millions of dollars from investors in an elaborate pyramid scheme that was the first one of its kind. As of August 2, 1920, Ponzi reportedly had nearly $7 million liquid in the banks but he owed people approximately $4.5 million to people involved in the scheme. After newspapers started writing articles examining the Ponzi investment, people started cashing out their funds. Ponzi surrendered to the federal authorities before they could arrest him on charges of mail fraud. He ended up posting $25,000 bail. Charles Ponzi pleaded guilty of mail fraud in 1920 and served 3 ½ years in federal prison. Ponzi died in 1949 at age 66.

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