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jkkFL On June - 1 - 2011


I used to flip past CNBC, because I have too much month at the end of the money, so why would I care?

No one is going to scam me out of millions of dollars!

Buck fifty-maybe, but nothing big.

Then, I got curious. How the hell does anyone take advantage of someone who is,  at least,  intelligent enough to accumulate investment capital?
What does it take to convince a “savvy” person to get sucked into a scam?  Apparently, not a lot.

Fact is, a person could learn a lot by watching- (you didn’t read it here..but there are some darn good tips, if you yearned to get into that sort of thing.)

American Greed is on CNBC on Monday nights at 10Pm EST.

The program focuses on the stories behind some of the biggest corporate and white collar crimes in the United States. In addition, stories about more common crimes such as insurance fraud, murder, embezzlement, art theft, Ponzi schemes, credit card fraud, bank robbery, money laundering, identity theft, and medical fraud are also.

An episode on Dr. Mark Weinberger, an ENT doctor who practiced in Merrillville, IN first caught my attention.  He used fake Cat Scans to convince his patients they needed sinus surgery.
A Doctor can make some serious money doing surgery on a patient who has nothing to fix!

An earlier episode was a Bernie Madoff profile. What I learned?
It’s easy to scam people, by hiding the real books, using ancient equipment, and keeping the Fed at bay- by simply lying.
Didn’t even have to break a sweat, because nobody cared enough to challenge him.

Danny Pang was another Ponzi champ.
In 1997, his wife, ex-stripper Janie Louise Pang, was murdered in the Villa Park house, possibly by a contract killer, after she took steps toward a divorce. A lawyer who had worked for Danny Pang was arrested for the murder, but his trial resulted in a hung jury.

He engineered the Private Equity Management Group, Inc. and Private Equity Management, LLC (PEMGroup) which claimed to manage $4 billion. The funds were invested mainly on behalf of Taiwanese investors, in American securities, timeshare properties, and insurance policies.

He would loan victims the full value of their life insurance policies, in return- he held the rights to those policies; gambling on the policyholders early death.

He was arrested by the FBI on April 28, 2009 for ‘structuring’ cash transactions to avoid a $10,000 reporting threshold, which has a maximum ten-year prison sentence. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission in a civil suit alleged that he ran a Ponzi scheme and misreported his background to investors, by claiming that he had been a vice-president at Morgan Stanley and had an MBA degree from the University of California at Irvine.

The SEC initially took him on because of his falsifying his resume.
They then arrested him on ‘structuring’ charges. (Structuring, also known as smurfing in banking industry jargon, is the practice of executing financial transactions (such as the making of bank deposits) in a specific pattern calculated to avoid the creation of certain records and reports required by law.)

American Greed is not recommended for people with high blood pressure, and people who are easily enraged!!

For the curious, here is an episode link.


Written by jkkFL

*Colts fan *Cubs fan *Rays fan *Sports fan! ...and Permanent Planet Resident ;)

9 Responses so far.

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  1. KQuark says:

    Oh and BTW IMHO the worst guy they profiled on American Greed by far was the pharmacist, Robert Courtney who diluted cancer drugs. I remember hearing about his crime in the MSM when he was first caught but I had no idea what damage this soulless waste of human protoplasm did before I saw the American Greed broadcast on him. I don’t care if that’s an ad hominem attack.

  2. KQuark says:

    I watch American Greed as well and it totally changed my attitude about the victims of con artists. Yes before I watched the show I did think the people who were victims of cons where victims but I use to think they were victims of their own greed as well. Well I don’t think that way anymore at all after watching American Greed because these con artists are beyond reprehensible and unfortunately really good at what they do. In most cases the people that invest really do invest a little in the beginning and are drawn in deeper and deeper into the scheme as it goes along. Now I kinda put con artists on the same level as psychopathic serial killers because they are narcissistic, have no empathy and no remorse. So now I see the victims of these schemes like anyone who is victim of any crime even a violent crime.

    • jkkFL says:

      KQ, Some cases may have victims, but especially in the Madoff case, he refused people time after time. The ‘victims’ persisted until they were granted ‘admission’ into his ‘club’.. do you see them as victims, or greed driven?

      • KQuark says:

        Of course they are victims. Madoff was just one of the best psychos of all time because he knew how to manipulate people so well. You have to remember the environment he operated under. The markets were making money because of the housing bubble so while the returns he produced were higher than most they were not seen as that outrageous.

  3. KillgoreTrout says:

    I have no compassion what so ever for the greedy. It should be enough to just live comfortably and be able to pay for children’s education and welfare. Far, far too many people think huge sums of money is the path to happiness. It is not. Money buys comfort and assuages vanity. Greed is the enemy of the spirit. Greed, by it’s very nature says screw you to all mankind. It put’s a person on the same level as beasts in the wild.
    Greed and the lust for power, power that would ensure the ability to steal even more money, is the biggest threat there is to America and her people. Bigger than war, cancer, AIDS, tornadoes, floods, earthquakes and hurricanes…..etc.

    • jkkFL says:

      This is probably not the show for you KT.
      It is really amazing how easily these scams keep working- time and time again..
      Even more amazing I think, is the fact that people keep doing these things and victims are lining up around the block for a piece of the action!
      Often they scam people in high places- which begs to question the ‘theory’ of the real value of these highly paid executives.
      If they are so smart, and deserve such high salaries; how can they be so dumb as to fall for these cons?

  4. whatsthatsound says:

    Why, greed is…

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