Mitchell Zuckoff - Steve Fraser - Chuck Fagar - Kapaneeh Doe & Siahyonkron Nuanseor - Don Hall - Tom Krebbs - American Greed: Greater Ministries International TV - Across the Line: The Exodus of Charlies Wright 2010 - Metro - Bernard Madoff: 65 Billion Dollar Swindle TV - Harry Markopolos - Richard Behar - Frontline TV - Hillary The Movie 2008 - This World: The Madoff Hustle TV - True Crime with Aphrodite Jones TV - Storyville TV - The Wizard of Lies 2017 - Marcia Clark Investigates TV - Money for Nothing: Inside the Federal Reserve 2013 - The 2000s: The Platinum Age of Television TV - Runner Runner 2013 - Jeffrey Epstein: Filthy Rich TV - Murder on Middle Beach TV - BBC online - John Lea - The Man Who Bought Cricket TV - Chasing Ghislaine TV - Billion Dollar Downfall: The Dealmaker TV - End of the World: How Money Became Worthless 2012 - Charles Ponzi the documentary 2019 - True Crime Recaps 2023 - Madoff: The Monster of Wall Street TV -
There are two pieces to a Ponzi scheme: you always have to attract new investment, and you have to make sure you don’t have a sudden outflow. The key is stability. Mitchell Zuckoff, author Ponzi’s Scheme
Ponzi schemers tend to be charming. In Ponzi’s case he was the guy you would put at the head of a parade. You would follow him anywhere. He had that charisma. Mitchell Zuckoff
Ponzi is a small-timer, shady underground character. He arrives in the United States from Italy, already a convicted smuggler, forger and vegetable peddler. He is a man from nowhere. Steve Fraser, author Wall Street: America’s Dream Palace
You practically had to have an embossed invitation testifying to your worthiness to invest in Bernie Madoff’s Ponzi scheme. Steve Fraser
In the wake of one of the largest financial frauds in American history, five former leaders of the Greater Ministries International Church (GMIC) have been sentenced to long prison terms.
The scheme took in at least $500 million from 18,000 Christian investors who believed God would double their money.
In a Tampa federal court in early August, Gerald Payne, the leader of the scam, was sentenced to 27 years for his conviction in March on 19 counts of fraud, conspiracy, money-laundering, and related charges. His wife, Betty Payne, received 12 years and 7 months. Chuck Fagar, article ‘Fraud: Greater Ministries Leaders Get Lengthy Prison Terms’
The Greater Ministries International Church, Greater Diamond Company, Rock Church International, Freedom Gold, Greater Group of Africa, Amalia Gold and Diamond, etc. have become synonymous with scams, unscrupulous investors, hustlers, con artists, hiding under the cloak of religion and posing as investors, doing business in Liberia. These organizations, using clever marketing schemes, religion and bribery, associated with organized crime in America, Europe and the world, have found willing partners in the Taylor regime, that is now combing the Liberian economy, transforming it into a hub for money-laundering, arms-trafficking and drug-smuggling.
These organizations, many of which are religious-based are involved in investment scams passing for legitimate businesses, which have become very lucrative business ventures with international dimensions. Kapaneeh Doe & Siahyonkron Nuanseor, article August 2001, ‘God, Diamonds and Investment in the Name of God’
Put money in God’s hand, and God gives it back to you double. Don Hall, US broadcast 26th July 2007
God never intended for his church to be poor. He said blessed are the poor in heart. Not pocket-book. Don Hall, Greater Love Ministries
Broken dreams, and that’s what makes me mad ... These are names of people who were victimised in the state of Georgia. We’ve just got the computer printouts on the lists of victims, and there are just thousands. Tens of thousands of ’em. The main thing: we’re shutting ’em down ... We ultimately found about $450,000,000 taken from people all over this country ... They destroy dreams, they destroy lives. And remember, they did it in the name of God. Tom Krebbs, Alabama Attorney
Selling investments requires a licence – a licence Gerald Payne doesn’t have ... After a four year inquiry, a Grand Jury hands down a twenty-year indictment, charging Gerald Payne and six church elders with conspiracy, money laundering and mail fraud ... According to the defense there was no fraud ... Gerald Payne receives twenty-seven years behind bars. American Greed s1e6: Greater Ministries International, CNBC 2007
Charlie Wright is charged in a ten billion dollar Ponzi scheme. Across the Line: The Exodus of Charlie Wright 2010 starring Andy Garcia & Aidan Quinn & Mario von Peebles & Jordan Belfi & Corbin Bernsen & Luke Goss & Gary Daniels & Raymond J Barry & Danny Pinoet et al, director R Ellis Frazier, Agent Hobbs
Ponzi scheme earns Stanford 110 yrs jail: Former tycoon and cricket supremo Allen Stanford was yesterday sentenced to 110 years in jail for defrauding thousands of investors out of £4.5 billion. The 62-year-old’s term was handed down after two people told the court how his 20-year Ponzi scheme, one of the largest in US history, had affected their lives. Metro 15th June 2012, article Fred Attewill
A flamboyant stockbroker is facing a substantial jail sentence after admitting carrying out a £32 million ‘ponzi’ fraud.
Nicholas ‘Beano’ Levene, the former deputy chairman of Leyton Orient Football Club, cheated investors by paying returns from their own money or subsequent customers. Metro news article
In 1987 Frank Avellino and Michael Bienes, two advisers feeding Bernie Madoff with funds, opened a second office in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and begun looking for a new well of investors. Bernard Madoff: 65 Billion Dollar Swindle
In a 1992 interview with the Wall Street Journal Madoff claimed he had no idea that his two front men were operating illegally. ibid.
Documents show that after 1992 former Avellino' and Bienes’ clients began moving their money into partnerships that were Michael Sullivan’s conduits to Madoff. Avellino and Bienes also continued to invest their own personal money with Madoff, and went on to amass fortunes. ibid.
By 2008 one third of all Geneva fund managers had invested with Madoff to the tune of $14,000,000,000. ibid.
Finally in January 2006, prompted by [Harry] Markopolos, the SEC launched an official investigation. Insiders said that when SEC lawyers visited the offices, Madoff personally answered questions and was visibly nervous and irritable. It took two years before the SEC issued a verdict: Madoff was cleared. Another year of fraudulent trading followed. ibid.
When the housing bubble burst in the spring of 2007 and markets collapsed, hedge funds were hurting. ibid.
In summing up, the trail judge said Madoff’s fraud was extraordinarily evil. And he received the maximum possible sentence. Bernie Madoff will die in prison for the $65 billion swindle. ibid.
As the global economy unravelled one of its major players was exposed. Bernard Madoff: his fraudulent activity gave a name and a face to all that went wrong, providing a focus for everyone’s anger. Ripped Off: Bernie Madoff, 2009
One of the biggest frauds was perpetrated by the American, who stole some $65 billion. He had been running the largest Ponzi scheme in history. ibid.
The Ponzi scheme is a simple scam, whereby one set of investors are paid unreal returns out of money received from another. The scheme was named after Carlo Ponzi who established the fraud in Boston in 1920. ibid.
Reed Slatkin & Vilas Likhite: In the 1990s Scientologists were duped by a member of their Church – Reed Slatkin – whose success investing with internet service provider Earthlink gave him credibility. By the time Slatkin’s Ponzi exploded nearly $600 million had been lost. ibid.
Richard Piccoli: Charged with stealing $17 millon; Arthur Nadel: disappeared with $300 million; Joseph Forte: charged with running a $50 million Ponzi; Nicholas Cosmo: allegedly absconded with $130 million; Paul Greenwood & Stephen Walsh: reportedly defrauded investors out of $554 million; Allen Stanford: charged by the Securities and Exchange Commission with conducting an $8 billion Ponzi scheme. ibid.
They were paid so much to look the other way ... Those feeder funds were incentivized not to ask the questions. To be wilfully blind, if you will. And not to get too intrusive into the Madoff scheme. Harry Markopolos, whistleblower, evidence to congressional inquiry
When I met a Ponzi artist the first thing I thought was wow I like him. He is so nice. Richard Behar
It was too good to be true. But nobody wanted to ask questions. Small time investors to sophisticated hedge fund managers. And where were the regulators? Frontline: The Madoff Affair, PBS 2009
The largest stock fraud in history. ibid.
In the summer of 2007 Hillary was forced to return nearly $900,000 from fundraiser Norman Hsu who is now under indictment for running a Ponzi scheme. Hillary: The Movie, 2008, newspaper article
He is the greatest grifter the world has ever seen. He ran the longest of long cons. He hustled the most money. His marks include millionaires and movie magnets as well as thousands of ordinary victims all over the globe. Tomorrow Bernie Madoff will be sentenced for masterminding the biggest con the world has ever seen. This World: The Madoff Hustle, BBC 2009
Had confessed to swindling billions of dollars from investors. Madoff was the last person on Wall Street most people would have suspected of such a crime. ibid.