Summary of Character
Carlo Pietro Giovanni Guglielmo Tebaldo Ponzi, (March 3, 1882 - January 18, 1949), commonly known as Charles Ponzi, was a businessman and con artist in the U.S. and Canada. Born in Italy, he became known as a swindler in North America for his money making scheme. His aliases include Charles Ponei, Charles P. Bianchi, Carl and Carlo. The term "Ponzi scheme" was coined because of it and the term now refers to scams which pay early investors out of the investments of later investors. Charles Ponzi promised clients a 50% profit within 45 days, or 100% profit within 90 days, by buying discounted postal reply coupons in other countries and redeeming them at face value in the United States as a form of arbitrage. Ponzi was probably inspired by the scheme of William F. Miller, a Brooklyn bookkeeper who in 1899 used the same scheme to take in $1 million.
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