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Charles F. Ponzi
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Outlaw
    (March 3, 1882-1949)
    Immigrated to the United States at nineteen
    Confidence man and swindler (Securities Exchange Corporation, Boston, 1919-20)
    Namesake for a pyramid type fraud (Ponzi Scheme)
    He was indirectly responsible for the collapse of the Banca Rossi in Montreal (1905).
    Following his release from jail for the Banca Rossi debacle, he wound up in jail again for smuggling immigrants into the United States.
    Ponzi thought International Reply Coupons (used to prepay reply postage to letters sent overseas) were negotiable securities.
    He took unfair advantage of immigrant communities faced with post-World War I inflation and economic uncertainty, promising 50% return in 45 days on monies so invested.
    Most of the International Reply Coupons 'invested' in were from countries whose currencies were decimated by World War I (notably Germany, Romania, Yugoslavia, etc.), in the mistaken belief that hyperflation meant better returns on investments.
    The collapse of his Securities Exchange Corporation subsequently led to the collapse of three Boston commercial banks which Ponzi had invested in with investors' funds.
    It took four years for authorities to press charges against Ponzi. During that time he promoted Florida real-estate development which turned out to be mostly underwater.
    Following his discharge from prison in 1936, Ponzi was deported back to Italy as an Undesirable Alien.
    Mussolini's Fascist regime promptly hired Ponzi as 'financial adviser' to a Fascist-controlled syndicate which quickly went bankrupt.
    He died in the charity ward of a Rio de Janeiro hospital (20 years prior, his net worth was $3.5 million).
    He was overly self-confident.
    He took advantage of his charisma.
    He was an early user of professional public-relations managers.
    He was charming and affable.

Credit: Iludium Phosdex


    For 2019, as of last week, Out of 2 Votes: 50.0% Annoying
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    In 2005, Out of 285 Votes: 69.12% Annoying
    In 2004, Out of 285 Votes: 68.77% Annoying
    In 2003, Out of 585 Votes: 69.57% Annoying
    In 2002, Out of 1251 Votes: 77.94% Annoying
 
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