Fraud - Notable Fraudsters

Notable Fraudsters

  • Ara Keshishyan, leader of Gone in 60 Seconds (bank fraud), together with fourteen individuals were charged following a Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)-led investigation into the theft of over $1 million from Citibank using cash advance kiosks at casinos located in Southern California and Nevada. FBI agents assisted by the Glendale Police Department and the Los Angeles Police Department arrested 13 of the defendants (all of them are Armenians) in the Los Angeles area.
  • Ashok Jadeja has been accused of cheating people across India of scores of rupees on the pretext of having divine blessings.
  • Bernard Ebbers, founder of WorldCom, which inflated its asset statements by about $11 billion.
  • Charles Dawson, an amateur British archeologist who claimed to have found the Piltdown man.
  • Cassie Chadwick, who pretended to be Andrew Carnegie's illegitimate daughter to get loans.
  • Dimitri De Angelis, who claimed to be a highly successful music producer and used Photoshopped images of himself with various celebrities and influential figures to defraud investors of $8.87 million.
  • Eddie Antar, founder of Crazy Eddie, who has about $1 billion worth of judgments against him stemming from fraudulent accounting practices at that company.
  • Frank Abagnale Jr., US impostor who wrote bad checks and falsely represented himself as a qualified member of professions such as airline pilot, doctor, attorney, and teacher. The film Catch Me If You Can is based on his life.
  • Columbia/HCA Medicare fraud. Columbia/HCA pleaded guilty to 14 felony counts and paid out more than $2 billion to settle lawsuits arising from the fraud. The company's board of directors forced then–Chairman and CEO Rick Scott to resign at the beginning of the federal investigation; Scott was subsequently elected Governor of Florida in 2010.
  • Howard Manoian, who was local hero in the Normandy village that he had retired to - feted for his tales of sacrifice in liberating France from the Nazis. France recognized his sacrifice at last month's 65th anniversary of the Normandy landings, presenting him with the country's highest award for bravery - the Legion d'Honneur. It appears Manoian's war stories were inspired by Hollywood. When Band of Brothers, Steven Spielberg's TV drama about U.S. parachutists fighting across Europe came out in 2001, he frequently commented on how realistic it was. There is no evidence whatsoever to link him with his claimed unit. Documentation detailing his war service proves he joined the chemical decontamination unit in Florida in July 1943. In 1945, Manoian returned home to Massachusetts and became a police officer. French government officials had heard about evidence questioning Manoian's war record before honouring him at last month's celebrations. His ex-serviceman's Legion d'Honneur has already been rescinded, and his name and photograph removed from official records and from museums.
  • James Paul Lewis, Jr., ran one of the biggest ($311 million) and longest running Ponzi Schemes (20 years) in U.S. history.
  • John Bodkin Adams, British doctor and suspected serial killer, but only found guilty of forging wills and prescriptions
  • Konrad Kujau, German fraudster and forger responsible for the "Hitler Diaries".
  • Kenneth Lay, the American businessman who built energy company Enron. He was one of the highest paid CEOs in the U.S. until he was ousted as Chairman and convicted of fraud and conspiracy, although, as a result of his death, his conviction was vacated.
  • Martin Frankel, former U.S. financier, convicted in 2002 of insurance fraud worth $208 million, racketeering and money laundering.
  • Nick Leeson, English trader whose unsupervised speculative trading caused the collapse of Barings Bank.
  • Pearlasia Gamboa, president of the micronation of Melchizedek, hundreds of aliases; in 2002, one of Gamboa's banking and investor fraud schemes was described by the Italian newspaper La Republica as "one of the most diabolical international scams ever devised", and in 2000, the Asia Times described Gamboa's operations as "an astonishing series of worldwide swindles".
  • Ramón Báez Figueroa, banker from the Dominican Republic and former President of Banco Intercontinental. He was sentenced on October 21, 2007 to 10 years in prison for a US $2.2 billion fraud case that drove the Caribbean nation into economic crisis in 2003.
  • Richard Whitney, who stole from the New York Stock Exchange Gratuity Fund in the 1930s.
  • Salim Damji is a convicted fraudster who stole millions of dollars in an affinity fraud. The money came mostly from relatives and members of the close-knit Ismaili community. His $78 million scam was among the largest in Canadian history.
  • Samuel Israel III, former hedge fund manager who ran the former fraudulent Bayou Hedge Fund Group, and faked suicide to avoid jail.
  • Marc Dreier, Managing founder of Attorney firm Dreir LLP, a $700 million Ponzi scheme.
  • Gregor MacGregor, Scottish conman who tried to attract investment and settlers for the non-existent country of Poyais.
  • Bernard Madoff, creator of a $65 billion Ponzi scheme – the largest investor fraud ever attributed to a single individual.
  • Colleen McCabe, British headmistress who stole £500,000 from her school.
  • Gaston Means, a professional conman during U.S. President Warren G. Harding's administration.
  • Matt the Knife, American con artist, card cheat and pickpocket who, from the ages of approximately 14 through 21, bilked dozens of casinos, corporations and at least one Mafia crime family out of untold sums.
  • Barry Minkow and the ZZZZ Best scam.
  • Michael Monus, founder of Phar-Mor, which ultimately cost its investors more than $1 billion.
  • F. Bam Morrison, who conned the town of Wetumka, Oklahoma by promoting a circus that never came.
  • Lou Pearlman, former boy-band manager and operator of a $300 million Ponzi scheme using two shell companies.
  • Frederick Emerson Peters, American impersonator who wrote bad checks.
  • Thomas Petters is an American masquerading as a business man who turned out to be a con man and was the former CEO and chairman of Petters Group Worldwide. Petters resigned his position as CEO on September 29, 2008, amid mounting criminal investigations. He later was convicted for turning Petters Group Worldwide into a $3.65 billion Ponzi scheme and was sentenced to 50 years in federal prison.
  • Charles Ponzi and the Ponzi scheme.
  • Alves Reis, who forged documents to print 100,000,000 PTE in official escudo banknotes (adjusted for inflation, it would be worth about US$150 million today).
  • John Rigas, cable television entrepreneur, cofounder of Adelphia Communications Corporation and owner of the Buffalo Sabres hockey team, defrauded investors of over $2 billion and was sentenced to a 12-year term in federal prison.
  • Christopher Rocancourt, a Rockefeller impersonator who defrauded Hollywood celebrities.
  • Joseph Rothe, of Fonthill, Ontario, ordered to pay $500,000 in restitution, received a four-year prison sentence, along with Ewaryst Prokofiew, of Mississauga, Ontario, in the biggest GST fraud in Canadian history. Code named Project Phantom for the lengthy police investigation, the organizers lined up a steady supply of vehicles that were to be sold at the auctions. The cars never materialized and were never purchased. But the operators of the fraud claimed that they had been sold, and because of the natives' tax-exempt status were able to claim the GST exemption. Authorities could only guess at the full loss sustained by the Canada Revenue Agency. Madam Justice Lynda Templeton of Superior Court said the scheme siphoned at least $11-million from Ottawa, possibly a great deal more.
  • Scott W. Rothstein, a disbarred lawyer from Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, who perpetrated a Ponzi scheme which defrauded investors of over $1 billion.
  • Michael Sabo, best known as a check, stocks and bonds forger. He became notorious in the 1960s throughout the 1990s as a "Great Impostor" with over 100 aliases, and earned millions from such.
  • John Spano, a struggling businessman who faked massive success in an attempt to buy out the New York Islanders of the NHL.
  • John Stonehouse, the last Postmaster-General of the UK and MP who faked his death to marry his mistress.
  • Kevin Trudeau, U.S. writer and billiards promoter, convicted of fraud and larceny in 1991, known for a series of late-night infomercials and his series of books about "Natural Cures "They" Don't Want You to Know About".
  • Tigran Aklyan was arrested on charges that he caused the San Gabriel DME company he owned, Las Tunas Medical Equipment, to submit more than $900,000 in fraudulent billings to Medicare, primarily for medically unnecessary power wheelchairs.

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