The 6 Biggest Financial Frauds in History

Financial frauds are nothing new. They have been a part of human society ever since the whole financial system got implemented into our societies. There was, is, and always will be someone that wants to gain the system. While we can’t say anything for the future (though Crypto has some great potential), these are some of the biggest financial frauds in history!

This might be just a myth, but it is said that during big unrest in the Roman Empire, the emperor’s guard killed the emperor and offered the empire to the highest bidder. Julianus bidded 250 gold pieces for every soldier in the empire (estimated at $1 bn) but he was never recognized as the true emperor. The guards were later executed by the next emperor. 

  • The Original Ponzi Scheme (1920)

Charles Ponzi realized that he could buy postal stamps at a discount and then ship them to another part of the country and sell them for full price. He advertised his discovery as a huge investment opportunity and promised up to 50% ROI within a month. The real profit was around 5% from each sale. After scamming a lot of people out of their money he fled the US. 

  • The Double Eiffel Tower Sale (1925)

Eiffel Tower Fraud

Victor Lustig saw that the Eiffel Tower needed some repairs. So he decided to fake some government documents and attempt to sell the landmark off. And he managed to do it, not once but twice! As you might have guessed he fled France and became one of America’s most successful swindlers and scammed a lot of people there as well. 

  • Enron Bankruptcy (2001)

Enron was a  huge company in the late ’90s and early 2000s. They claimed that they had a revenue as high as $101 billion, to the surprise of their investors. However, it was soon discovered that Enron had nowhere near the revenue they claimed. And that most of that revenue is just fake or “creative” accounting and cooking the books. After its imminent collapse, a lot of investors were left short-handed. 

  • The Bernie Madoff Scheme (2008)


Madoff is the mastermind behind the biggest investment fraud in the history of the US. He managed to rip off tens of thousands of people for as much as $65 billion! For this fraud, he was convinced to serve 150 years in prison. 

  • Current Events

While there are still no massive events right now in the financial system, there is a big fraud cooking. Some say that the excessive printing of the US dollar in 2020 will ripple through the economy and cause massive inflation and destruction of the economy. All of this is supported by Wall Street who has all gained immeasurable wealth in the recent period. 


What all of this entails and what will happen is something we will have to wait for to see for ourselves. 


Learn More Here:
CBS News, Wiki, Investopedia

Nick Martin
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