08/09/2009 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

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

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:

Mini-Madoffs: The New Breed Of Downmarket Ponzi Schemers

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