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Ponzi Block Party

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PalmBeachDailyNews.com just reported a new $23 million Ponzi scheme. I'm almost surprised this one made the news. These days $23 million sounds like a rounding error. It's .04 percent -- that's .0004 -- of Bernie Madoff's $65 billion effort. It's .29 percent of the alleged, $8 billion fraud orchestrated by Allen Stanford.

I love to run the numbers.

Geography, not dollar size, is the headline here. And it's mind-numbing. The home of the the $23 million, alleged fraudster is less than one minute's walk from the Florida estate of Bernie Madoff. For your convenience and as verification, I have pasted the link to Google directions. Try the "satellite" view.

Virtual Tour: Walk of Shame

Talk about proximity. Talk about neighbors from hell. Remember Wilson and Home Improvement? I have this vision of a series remake. One neighbor leans over the hedge. The other, his back facing the camera, offers tips: how to get rid of crab grass; how to sear steaks Pittsburgh style -- black on the outside, pink inside; and how to elude the law after separating friends and neighbors from their savings.

"Can I get your recipe for clawback casserole?"

Ponzi schemes are no laughing matter. I wonder if the swindler in the $23 million scam can invoke the Florida Homestead laws and protect his house from creditors. If so, we won't see for sale signs in the neighborhood any time soon. The Madoffs are already employing this tactic.

Do you think Florida's Homestead laws invite bad behavior?

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