The word/name Ponzi has been around for a long time only for its popularity to amass in Nigeria Early last year.From the convention of MMM to Icharity,e-cooporative etc to mention a few.Today we are bringing to our readers details of the man named Ponzi,how he started and his operation.Don't Miss This!
Charles Ponzi, born Carlo Ponzi (March 3, 1882 – January 18, 1949), was an Italian swindler and con artist in the U.S. and Canada. His aliases include Charles Ponci, Carlo, and Charles P. Bianchi.Born and raised in Italy, he became known in the early 1920s as a swindler in North America for his money-making scheme. He promised clients a 50% profit within 45 days, or 100% profit within 90 days, by buying discounted postal reply coupons in other countries and redeeming them at face value in the United States as a form of arbitrage.
In reality, Ponzi was paying early investors using the investments of later investors. While this swindle predated Ponzi by several years, it became so identified with him that it now bears his name. His scheme ran for over a year before it collapsed, costing his "investors" $20 million($220million in todays money).
Ponzi may have been inspired by the scheme of William F. Miller, a Brooklyn bookkeeper who in 1899 used the same scheme to take in $1 million.In addition, "The Man Who Broke the Bank at Monte Carlo", Charles Deville Wells, had operated a very similar scheme in France in 1910-11, when—under the alias ″Lucien Rivier″—he had set up a phony bank, to the detriment of his 6,000 victims.
Coming to America
The details of the infamous swindler Charles Ponzi's early life are difficult to verify. It is believed, however, that he was born Carlo Ponzi in Parma, Italy, and attended the University of Rome La Sapienza.
Ponzi arrived in Boston in November 1903 aboard the S.S. Vancouver. He later told the New York Times that he gambled away most of his money on the voyage to America. "I landed in this country with $2.50 in cash and $1 million in hopes, and those hopes never left me." The young immigrant’s charisma and confidence would help him pull off one of the greatest financial schemes in history.
Ponzi started out working odd jobs, including as a dishwasher in a restaurant. In 1907, he moved to Montreal, where he found a job as a teller at Bank Zarossi. The bank was formed to cater to the new Italian immigrant population, charging high interest rates.
When Bank Zarossi went bankrupt because of bad loans, Ponzi was left penniless. He was sentenced to three years in a Quebec prison after he was caught forging a bad check. Rather than tell his mother in Italy that he was in prison, he wrote to her in a letter that he was working at a Canadian prison.
When he was released from jail, Ponzi got involved in yet another criminal venture, smuggling Italian immigrants across the border into the United States. This too landed him in jail—he spent two years behind bars in Atlanta.