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Mini-Madoffs: The New Breed Of Downmarket Ponzi Schemers (SLIDESHOW, VOTE)

First Posted: 08/09/09 06:12 AM ET   Updated: 05/25/11 02:35 PM ET

Bernie certainly wasn't alone. As BusinessWeek recently pointed out, there's currently a "bull market for investment scams."

Ponzi schemes, in which a scam artist like Bernie Madoff uses money from new investors to pay off old investors, are a time-honored tradition. But we've compiled a list of some of the more recent alleged grifters who, while diabolical in their own right, couldn't quite rival Madoff's $68 billion ripoff. The accused perpetrators range from New York society types, to "trans-Atlantic boiler rooms," to a multimillion scam on the island of Kauai. One of them even bankrolled a Paris Hilton movie, which, in retrospect, definitely should have been a serious red flag to potential investors.

Call them Mini-Madoffs. Call them evil geniuses. Or just call them petty crooks. View our slideshow and vote below:


Marc Dreier, $400 Million Investment Scam
 
Dreier, who pled guilty earlier this year to running a massive investment fraud, stole more than $46 million from clients, according to the New York Times. (The total value of his fraud was put at $400 million). Dreier, a New York lawyer who boasts degrees from both Harvard and Yale, issued fake promissory notes and sold them to investors and hedge funds.
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Filed by Ryan McCarthy  |