Aptly said by John Grant, Fraud is the daughter of greed. And greed is something which is omnipresent. And so is FRAUD. Financial scams have never failed to raise the eyebrows at the audacity and genius and sometimes stupidity of the culprits. From transferring billions of money to fake accounts to selling an illegal property to public to hoaxing trillions to embezzlement of funds, the world has seen everything when it comes to financial frauds. And even today there is no full stop to this heinous crime. Money truly drives one crazy, making him or her forget ethics and morality and transcending upon a path devoid of principles. As long as there is greed, there will be fraud!
Here’s a list of 8 biggest frauds of all times:
#1 The Sale of the Roman Empire (193 AD)
The Praetorian guard of the Roman Empire killed the emperor and sold the empire to the highest bidder, Julianus, at 1 billion dollars in today’s money. Unfortunately, the guards sold something that didn’t belong to them and very soon Julianus was executed.
#2 The Diamond Necklace Hoax (1785)
Thinking the woman to be the empress, the Cardinal Prince de Rohan convinced a prostitute named De La Motte to buy a diamond necklace worth six million livres. When caught in the act of eloping, Motte was sentenced to be stripped naked in public and branded with hot iron. The resulting incident triggered the French Revolution.
#3 The Eiffel Tower Sale (1925)
Count Victor Lustig faked some government papers where he entitled himself to sell the Eiffel Tower which was in need of repair. Two scrap metal dealers fell into his trap and came up with 2,00,000 dollars in bribes to throw the multi-million dollar contract their way. Skipping arrest, Lustig made it to the U.S.A. to begin his career as a swindler.
#4 The Match King Hoax (1929)
Ivar Krueger made the banks go bonkers by making them invest in companies that existed only on papers and which managed to be profitable only because they were invested in each other. The scam began to fall out after the Wall Street crash of 1929 when investors wanted their cash back. Unable to pay, Krueger shot himself dead.
#5 The Great Insider Trading Scam (1986)
By betting on corporate takeovers, Ivan Boesky amassed wealth worth more than 200 million dollars. However, he was soon arrested for the scam and was imprisoned for 3.5 years and had to pay a fine worth 100 million dollars.
#6 The Savings and Loan Scandal (1989)
Charles Keating, very brazenly convinced people to invest in huge savings and loan institutions acting as banks but in reality were pure junk. He was eventually convicted of the crime. However, he did not drown alone. He took along with himself five senators including John McCain for providing political cover for him.
#7 The Madoff Pyramid (2008)
Loopholes in the financial sector along with the nonchalant approach of the US government towards recurring scams made the U.S.A. witness another. A scam worth 18 billion dollars was finally busted with the arrest of Madoff, the main convict.
#8 The Great Wall Street Rip-off
Here comes the mother of all scams! Throwing trillions of dollars of real investment into the mud, this scam had a grappling effect all around the world which fell into recession and witnessed massive unemployment. Also, the perpetrators have managed to go unpunished because of buying control over the government and channeling all anger towards the victims instead of the real criminals. Shocking, isn’t?
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