Who Was Charles Ponzi? The Man Behind the Original Scheme.

We’ve all heard of Ponzi schemes, but did you know that there was an actual guy named Ponzi who they are named after?

On this week’s episode of Dirty Money, we tell the amazing story of the original swindler Charles Ponzi, a dapper, five-foot-two Italian immigrant who in 1920 raked in an estimated $15 million (now $225 million) in less than a year. Ponzi lured over 20,000 Bostonians to invest in his securities with promises of 50 percent profits in 45 days. Back in the day, he was a hero of people—until a newspaper brought him and his now infamous scheme crashing down.

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Listen to this episode of Dirty Money to hear host Jon Small break down all of the grimy details and the legacy Ponzi left behind. And find out if fellow short Italian Dan Bova has any defense for Ponzi’s dastardly ways.

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