A crook is a person who misleads others, usually for personal financial gain. In recent history there are a number of scams that have amazed with how they fool people. This is a list of the most famous con men in recent history.

1. Frank Abagnale [Born: 1948]

Frank Abagnale is a former forger and impostor who checks in five years – in 1960 made trafficking in forged checks worth $ 2.5 million in 26 countries. The recent blockbuster “Catch Me If You Can” is based on his life. His first experience was in youth fakes when he used his father’s mobile card to buy parts for cars which later sold them at a lower price gas station. He realized that his father was one who supported the bill and when confronted with crime, his mother sent him for four months while a school of correction.

After moving to New York, Frank survived only from his scams. One of his most famous tricks was his own account number printed on sheets of false filing, and when customers deposit money bank, they went straight into his account. At the time the bank realized what happened, Frank had $ 40,000 and fled.

For two years, Abagnale has traveled around the world for free in Pan Am pilot position. Used the professional respect of other aviation companies offering free pilots TRANSPORT companies competing for last-minute flights. Almost got caught when starting from a plane, it changed character posing as a doctor. He worked as a medical supervisor for 11 months without being noticed. Other times he worked as a lawyer or teacher.

Eventually he was caught in France and spent six months in jail there. He was then extradited to Sweden and imprisoned for another six months. After the successful escape during the journey to the United States, received 12 years in prison. He escaped from there posing as an undercover agent from the Bureau of Prisons. Again he was caught in New York and sent to prison. After only five years of sentence, the federal government restored freedom for American help against fraudsters and scammers or.

Currently lead “Abagnale & Associates”, a financial consulting firm and is multi antifraud.

2. Charles Ponzi [Born: 1882, Died: 1949]

Ponzi, an Italian immigrant in the United States is one of the most famous swindlers in American history. While not many people know the name Ponzi, Ponzi scheme is extremely popular and continues today in the mechanisms of making money quickly online. First APRT his life is not well known because it was prone to invent stories about it. It is known as a short petreccut the University of Rome, then to left, went by boat to Bosoton 2.5 $ in your pocket.

The first years were difficult in the United States. He began working at a restaurant, but was quickly dismissed on the grounds that rigged customer bills. The next job was in a bank in Canada that served Italian immigrants. His knowledge of mathematics helped him to do very well there. Unfortunately the owner was stealing money from bank accounts to pay interest recently and bad investments. Bank owner eventually fled to Mexico and Ponzi remained without service. After writing a check forgery and spent a number of years in prison, Ponzi was determined to get rich at any cost.

After normal life in freedom, return postage coupons found in a letter he received from abroad. He realized that foreign copoane could buy a small price (due to fixed prices after the war) and then sell them in USA with a profit of 400%. This was a form of arbitration and was legal. Ponzi began to borrow money from friends and acquaintances, promising them a profit between 50-100% in 90 days. He founded his own company “The Security Xchange Company” to promote this scheme.

About this investment has spread quickly and soon Ponzi lived in a luxurious villa. The money I came with a fantastic speed, but a careful financial analysis showed that in fact he was making money but quickly lost them. For every dollar taken in deeper in debt. And as money flowed continuously, Ponzi was heading quickly toward collapse.

Soon people became suspicious and negative press has published some articles about it. Inevitably people began to ask for money. Soon, federal agents raided his office and i have closed. Were not found stamps and all those who invested with Ponzi lost every cent. Damage is likely to have been $ 10 million. Ponzi pleaded guilty to tax evasion and mail was sent to jail. After an escape was caught and sent back to complete their sentence. Eventually he was deported back to Italy and died in poverty in 1949.

3. Joseph Weil [Born: 1877, Died: 1975]

Joseph “Yellow Baby” Weil was one of the most famous swindlers of his time. During his career is believed to have stolen more than $ 8 million. At his first job as tax collector, he realized that his colleagues were collecting debts, but kept some money for them. Weil started a business protection offering was not advertising in exchange for a percentage of their revenues.

We also use false oil business, women, race fixing, and an endless array of tricks to steal from the public every day think. They can change identity every day to achieve their goals: a day was Dr. Henri Reuel, a leading geologist who has traveled the world and tell everyone that is representative of a large oil companies while leaving them without money “investing in fuel. ” The next day was the director of “Elysium Development Company,” while promising land robbed innocents with abstract fees. Or was the great chemist who discovered how to copy banknotes of dollars promised to increase wealth, multiply and disappear with the money notes to appear before the police.

In his autobiography, Weil writes:

“The desire to take something for nothing was very expensive for some people who had business with me or with other crooks.” He writes, “but I found that this business goes. Simple man, in my estimation, is 99% and 1% human animal. 99% of animals do not cause problems, but that 1% creates all problems. When people learn, although I doubt that they can not gain something from nothing, crime will diminish and we all live in great harmony. ”

4. Victor Lustig [Born 1890, Died: 1947]

Victor Lustig was known as “the man who sold the Eiffel Tower.” He was born in Bohemia but later moved to Paris where he could escrocheze people in his frequent road between Paris and New York. His first con was to show people a device that can print $ 100 bills. He said the only problem was that people can print only one note each to 6 hours. Many people gave a lot of money (usually over $ 30,000). In fact, the device contained two real $ 100 bills and once it ends, car notes wore white. Until buyers discovered that, Lustig disappear with their money.

In 1925, while France had recovered after the war, the Eiffel tower maintenance was very costly for the city of Paris. When Lustig read about it in newspaper, came a great idea. After the documents falsified government has invited six vendors to scrap a secret meeting at a hotel. He explained that Paris can not afford to maintain the tower and will be sold for scrap. He said that the reason for their secret meeting is that it is possible for the public to be upset at hearing the news that the tower will be moved.


Although it seems plausible at the time the tower was built it was meant to be temporary and that happened 18 years after the original date of demolition of the tower. Lusting took sellers with a limousine tour of the tower. One of the sellers, Andre Poisson was certain that the story is real and gave him money. When he realized he was tricked, he was too ashamed to go to the police and fled with money Lustig. A month later, he returned to Paris to try and scam. This time was reported to the police, but Lustig managed to escape.

At some point Lustig convinced Al Capone to invest with him $ 50,000. He put the money in a safe and after two months returned to him, saying that the business failed. Impressed by his honesty, Capone gave him $ 5,000 for their efforts. In 1934, Lustig was found guilty of forgery. He pleaded guilty and was sent 20 years in Alcatraz. In 1947 he died in a jail pneomonie in Springfield, Missouri.

5. George Parker [Born: 1870, Died: 1936]

Parker was one of the most courageous swindlers in American history. He made money selling the sights of New York tourists. His favorite subject was selling the Brooklyn Bridge, which he sold 2 times a week for many years. They convince customers that they can make a fortune by controlling access roads in the city. Many times police had to raise the bridge naive buyers trying to put barriers and taxes.

Other objectives were sold Madison Square Garden (the original), Metropolitan Museum of Art, Statue of Liberty and Grant’s Tomb. George had many ways to make sales. When selling Grant’s tomb, the grandson general picture. Even have a fake office where he “trades”. He had a large number of documents proving that he is the owner of each property that legally sells.

Parker was charged 3 times for fraud. After the third indictment, on December 17, 1928, received a life sentence in prison Sing Sing. He spent the last 8 years of his life behind bars. It was popular among guards and prisoners who listened with pleasure his adventures. George is remembered as one of the most succces swindlers in American history, as well as one of the most talented prankster history. His business went in popular culture, giving rise to expressions like “and if you think that I have a bridge I want to sell it to you,” one usually to say that someone is gullible.

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