Madoff & Friends
Inducted into new con artist hall of fame
Bernard Madoff is currently rotting in a Manhattan jail cell (projected release date: November 14, 2139). Investors who found themselves bankrupted by the scandal might be pleased, but a pair of California financiers worried that the perpetrator of “the biggest con of all time” might soon be as unfamiliar to the general public as predecessors like Bernard Cornfeld or John Law—so they decided to create a rogue’s gallery they call the Con Artist Hall of Infamy to catalog and categorize generations of fleecers for posterity (including, yes, Charles Ponzi) along with a Con Timeline and a Con Watch blog.
The 35 inductees were chosen on the basis of how much they stole (or caused shareholders to lose), how colorful they were, whether their crimes shook whole industries, and whether they were convicted in court. So far, the gallery includes only men, prompting co-founder Warren Hellman to speculate to the LA Times that women are either “too smart to get caught or they’re actually too honest.”
Related: Time is Money