While many people are familiar with some of the more well-known Ponzi scheme perpetrators — such as Bernie Madoff, Allen Stanford, Thomas Petters, and Scott Rothstein — most people are not aware that hundreds of Ponzi schemes run by less colorful personalities are uncovered every year.

Technically, a Ponzi scheme is a fraudulent investment operation that pays returns to its investors from existing capital or from new capital paid by new investors rather than from profits earned by the individual or organization running the operation. The scheme is named after Carlo Pietro Giovanni Guglielmo Tebaldo Ponzi, commonly known as Charles Ponzi, who was an Italian con artist who became notorious for using the technique in the 1920s. Ponzi did not invent the scheme, but his operation took in so much money that it was the first to become known throughout the United States.

Unfortunately, while nearly a century has passed since Charles Ponzi’s time, the fraudulent scheme he helped make famous continues to hold appeal for fraudsters and unscrupulous investment promoters even today. In 2008, Bernard Madoff was arrested and sentenced to 150 years in prison for running a Ponzi scheme spanning nearly 30 years that ultimately cost investors approximately $18 billion.

If you were the victim of a Ponzi scheme, contact Jacobson Law P.A. to discuss the specific facts of your case. You may have a claim and could be entitled to recover damages.