Scam Busting: The Development of Charles Ponzi’s Pyramid Scheme

Standard

Ponzi demonstrated to himself that he could achieve astronomical profits with the postal reply coupons, a far better return on investment than interest paid by the banks or profits created in the stock market.

His investment pitch included the mention of the International Reply Coupons, as he was depending upon the legitimacy of the U.S. Postal Service to bolster his image. However, Ponzi was careful not to give away too many details of his plan, lest potential investors would become skeptical or steal his idea and start companies of their own. Continue reading

Scam Busting: The Father of the Pyramid Scheme

Standard

Charles Ponzi could be described as a clever businessman, or a ruthless cheater, depending upon how you look at him. I view him primarily as a charismatic leader who was able to convince people to give him large sums of money, even when they did not understand his investment scheme.

After an unremarkable professional life and a stint in prison, Mr. Ponzi devised a scheme utilizing .postal reply coupons. in the early 1900s. These coupons were included with letters to family, and the family could redeem the coupon at the post office for postage on a return letter. Mr. Ponzi.s scheme seemed simple: trade international postal reply coupons to turn a profit. Continue reading