After stealing $65 BILLION from Wall Street elite, Bernie Madoff went to jail where he became the prison’s hot chocolate kingpin by cornering the hot chocolate market.
The operation of the largest fraud in US history was fairly simple. Bernie Madoff deposited all his investors’ money into his Chase bank account and paid them off as necessary. At its height his account balance was over $5 billion. The scheme collapsed when he ran out of money.
In 2015, Neil Moore, a prisoner serving time for a $2.7 million fraud conviction, walked out the front gate of a high security prison by forging his own release papers.
A con man tricked Al Capone out of $5,000. He got Capone to give him $50,000 to invest in a scam. After 2 months, he returned it. He told Capone that the scam had fallen through, and he had no money left to support himself. Capone, stung by his honesty, gave him $5,000 to “tide him over”.
A man created a fake restaurant that became the #1 restaurant in London. On opening night he served microwaved food. Eventually, he got sick of being interviewed about it. So he sent people that looked like him to the interviews, and told them what to say.
Charles Ponzi, the creator of the Ponzi scheme, received Christmas cards from some of his investors and requests to invest money while he was in prison.
In 1904 a woman borrowed $5 million dollars from US Banks because people thought she was Andrew Carnegie’s illegitimate child. She wasn’t.
In 1849 New York, a man would walk up to strangers and begin a conversation. Gaining their trust, he would ask “Have you the confidence to trust me with your watch until tomorrow?” He would never return. When finally caught, he was labeled a “confidence man”, later shortened to simply “con man”. The man, William Thompson, would reportedly gain the confidence of his upper-class “mark” by dressing very nicely and pretending to be an old, forgotten friend. He was eventually arrested when one of his former victims recognized him on the street.
A man faked his death, lived next door without his kids knowing, fled to Panama with his wife on a fake passport, tried to build a hotel using his insurance money, after a visa policy change he returned home and pretended not to remember anything; his ruse was revealed by a Google search.
There was a con man in India, who repeatedly sold the Taj Mahal, the Indian parliament and various other heritage sites. He was sentenced to 113 years but managed to escape prison 9 times, last when he was 84 years old.