It has often been said that in an effort not to repeat the mistakes of our past in the present, we must be versed in history. Some things however seem to be perennial and despite our best efforts, with all our knowledge and the advancements in technology, we’re unable to prevent them for happening.
One of the most eternal mistakes that it would seem every generation and era has to make is the ability to succumb to fraud. Fraud may seem like a big scary term to the average Joe – you may not want to admit that you bought a twenty dollar cleaning solution from a travelling sales man and it ended up creating more stains than removing them.
At a domestic level, while many of us have been the victim of fraud, we try to keep it hush hush. It is embarrassing and to admit that you were prey to a con man is to admit a certain level of inadequacy that you just may not be able to stomach. While you can hide or relocate or just pretend it never happened, there are some people that don’t have that luxury.
Some of the wealthiest people in the world have sunk millions into people, schemes and products that turned up in the end to be less than above board. We see it today in the media that the act of fraud is still rampant and ever occurring. Let’s see where we are now and where we’ve come from, with a couple examples of what fraud can do and has done:
In June 2012, Jacob Frydman was hit with several claims by PAF Capital LLC for fraud. Now if you do a Google search of Mr. Frydman, you will see that he is a very well known, well connected and based on projections, a very wealthy man. He wasn’t willing to part with any of this wealth it would seem as he decided to backtrack on a personal guarantee. It’s not as simple as going back on your word – the guarantee that he was giving was worth twelve million dollars.
As if going back on that kind of cash wasn’t enough, Mr. Frydman was making attempts to settle with PAF who would have taken off a significant chunk of the amount the Mr. Frydman was due to guarantee. Why is this so bad? Because Jacob Frydman not only had the money to meet the guarantee, he lied about it. Talk about your reluctant millionaire…
Charles Ponzi of Securities Exchange Company
Charles Ponzi is dead and gone but his scheme was so epic that it retains the namesake to date and still continues long in his wake. An Italian immigrant to the United States with a very muddled background (as oft he did lie about it), he started by ripping off customers in the restaurant where he handled billing. After working in a Canadian bank, his boss who was a schemer himself absconded to Mexico after stealing money from his customers.
Determined to make a wealthy life for himself, Ponzi was able to purchase foreign coupons at ridiculously lowered costs due to post-war price fixing. After amassing a great fortune, spending more than he made and shysting people out of their hard earned money, the ball was dropped on him in local newspaper. He was extradited to Italy and subsequently died there, alone and penniless.
Image: CUNNING CONS AND THEIR CAPERS PHOTO