Four of the World’s Most Famous Con Artists

They say “cheaters never prosper,” but the really talented ones do seem to get away with it, for a little while at least. Here are four cheaters who were so effective, you can’t help but be impressed.

George C. Parker

A true confidence man after the old traditions, George C. Parker is the origin of the old saying, “And if you believe that, then I have a bridge to sell you.” His claim to fame is the sale of New York landmarks to unwary victims. He sold Lady Liberty, Madison Square Gardens, even posing as a grandson of General Grant in order to sell his tomb. Most famously, however, was the repeated sale of the Brooklyn Bridge, hence the phrase. He was convicted of fraud three separate times and spent his final years behind bars.

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Charles Ponzi

One of the grandfathers of white-collar crime, Charles Ponzi was an Italian immigrant, whose scam became so famous they named it after him. Ponzi ran an investment scheme wherein he paid dividends to a first round of investors with the capital from a second. In other words, he wasn’t accumulating wealth so much as he was accumulating debt. Eventually, people caught on, he was sent to prison, then extradited to Italy, and died a pauper there in 1949.

Robert Hendy-Freegard

A particularly insidious scammer, Robert Hendy-Freegard posed as an undercover MI5 agent in the UK in the 90’s, much to the personal torment of many innocent victims. Unlike the others on this list, who mainly deprived gullible marks of their liquid assets, Freegard subjected his victims to non-trivial amounts of psychological torment. Among other things, he convinced many to go into hiding fearing IRA assassination, seduced multiple women (who he abused) under the pretense of wanting to marry them, and conned his victims out of hundreds of thousand of Great Britain Pounds. Worse yet, unlike many of his con artist peers, Freegard has filled his sentence, and today walks free.

Frank Abagnale

We end with Mr. Abagnale, a confidence man so impactful they made a movie about him. Frank is famous for writing false checks in the 1960’s, a trick that accumulated him a total value of over $2.5 million. He’s also famous for impersonating a Pan Am pilot, a medical supervisor, a lawyer, and a teacher. He served 6 months each in a French prison, and a Swedish one. During a transfer to the U.S. he escaped, only to caught again and returned to prison, where he escaped again by pretending to be an undercover office of the Bureau of Prisons.

Eventually, the government decided he was more valuable as an asset than as an enemy, and offered him his freedom in exchange for assisting the FBI in fraud and scam cases pro bono. As of today, he runs a fraud consultancy, which has once again made him a millionaire.

Cons and scams still happen today, so keep your eyes peeled, and be wary of any deal that seems too good to be true. And by doing your research, you will actually be able to identify good opportunities, such as the mislabelled “ACN scam.”

After DUI Charges: How to Defend Yourself

 

Probably all drivers heard the legends of how to surpass a DUI (Driving Under the Influence) charge. It includes breath mint of sucking on a penny. Sad to say, the following methods are frequently debunked.

Instead of relying on superstitious to surpass DUI conviction, there are better strategies to beat any charges. From the police stop until going to court, the following defenses will help in reducing any unreasonable harsh sentence.

No Probable Cause for Arrest

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If a police officer does not have any probable cause to stop a vehicle, detain the driver or even arrest a person for drunk driving, it can be a strong evidence against that police officer when admitted to court.

Mistake of Fact

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The mistake of fact is a strong defense against DUI charge especially when the person has an honest belief that they are not intoxicated. A situation like this happens when the hindered effect of the person’s prescribe medication has worn off.

Involuntary Intoxication

It is a situation when the person accused has consumed alcohol without their knowledge. Episodes like this commonly happen at parties when the punchbowl has alcohol content.

Improper Police Actions

It is a defense that includes testimony or evidence that an officer has violated the appellant’s civil rights. It includes charging a false DUI report or the improper enactment of the officer.

No Miranda Warnings

If arrested then an officer should provide the defendant with Miranda warnings as part of the proper process. Miranda warning are the warnings often hear on TV.

It involves having the right to remain silent, having the right to hire an attorney, any words a person says may bear responsibility against them and so on. In any case that the officer doesn’t provide Miranda warnings or incorrectly recites them, then the defendant can rule out certain evidence at trial.

Takeaway

Even without the old wives tales on how to beat DUI charges, a person can completely surpass it. They can surpass it by not driving when intoxicated. Learning about defenses for DUI charges can help an individual in the future.