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Top 10 Craziest Ponzi Schemes

Dozens of Ponzi schemes are uncovered every year.
I have put together this collection of the top ten strangest Ponzi schemes,

1/11 ● Patrick Boyle
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#10 The Yilishen Tianxi Group

Wang Zhendong the companys founder was sentenced to death for this fraud.



More than a million people invested in the Yilishen Tianxi Group by buying and raising boxes of black mountain ants.

From 2001 Wang offered “investors”, mainly peasants who had received compensation for losing their land to development, the chance to earn large returns from ant farming. Investors got three boxes of “special” ants from his company for ¥10,000 ($1,600) and, for feeding them until they died, the firm would buy them back for a return of around 32.5% over 14 months.

#9 Susi Emu Farms

the main promoter M.S. Guru staggering returns from the birds



M.S. Guru operated Susi Emu Farms, which promised investors a weekly return of $120 in exchange for a $3,000 investment that supposedly purchased a baby emu.

The 'emu bubble' burst in August 2012, six years after the main promoter M.S. Guru founded Susi Emu Farms at Perundurai, a small town in Erode district of Tamil Nadu, promising staggering returns from the birds. Investors realised that emu farming was a scam only when payments from Susi Emu Farms dried up.

#8 Dana Giacchetto and Cassandra Partners

Dana Giacchetto "managed" money for A-list stars as Leonardo DiCaprio, Cameron Diaz, Matt Damon, Ben Affleck, ...



Dana Giacchetto "managed" money for A-list stars as Leonardo DiCaprio, Cameron Diaz, Matt Damon, Ben Affleck, and the cast members of the TV show Friends. He often partied with a cockatoo perched on his shoulder. It turned out he was a pirate.

#7 Buddy Persaud

Using trading strategies based on lunar cycles and the gravitational pull between Earth and the moon.



Buddy Persaud, was arrested and charged with operating a Ponzi scheme that promised risk-free returns derived from investing in the futures markets and other markets.

His trading strategies were based on lunar cycles and the gravitational pull between Earth and the moon.

#6 JCS Enterprises

involved the purchase of a virtual concierge machine that resembled a bank automatic teller machine a



Investors were told that an investment in JCS Enterprises involved the purchase of a virtual concierge machine that resembled a bank automatic teller machine and allowed users to view advertisements for products or services.

Investors were told that their machine would be placed in a business where it could generate lucrative profits.

#5 Sundown Entertainment Inc

Sundown raised more than $7 million from over 150 investors.



Sundown Entertainment Inc purported to specialize in the distribution of film and comic-book rights.

Potential investors were told that their investment would be used to purchase the rights to old film footage that then would be used to produce and distribute movies and documentaries.

Sundown lured investors by promising returns on short-term investments of up to 150%.

#4 ZeekRewards

In total, nearly 1 million “affiliates” would entrust more than $500 million to ZeekRewards.



ZeekRewards, solicited investors worldwide to participate in its penny-auction business where participants could “bid” on popular merchandise in 1-cent increments.

In addition to the ‘retail” business, the company also promised its “affiliates” hefty returns for recruiting new participants and placing free advertisements on other sites.

In return, those “affiliates” were rewarded with daily returns of 1.5%. In total, nearly 1 million “affiliates” would entrust more than $500 million to ZeekRewards.

#3 Mutual Benefits Corporation

The company operated for around ten years, selling $1.25 billion worth of life insurance policies to 30,000 investors.



Mutual Benefits Corporation was a Florida based investment sales company that operated a huge ponzi scheme selling viatical settlements, with investors losing an estimated $835 million.

The company operated for around ten years, selling $1.25 billion worth of life insurance policies to 30,000 investors.

#2 Greater Ministries International

taking nearly 500 million dollars from 18,000 people.



Greater Ministries International was a Christian ministry that ran a Ponzi scheme taking nearly 500 million dollars from 18,000 people. Headed by Gerald Payne in Tampa, Florida.

#1 Moneytron

a "supercomputer" able to predict economic fluctuations, a machine nobody else ever got to see as it was supposedly kept behind a locked door in his office.



Jean-Pierre Van Rossem, was a self-styled financial wizard and Marxist turned anarchist, one-time owner of a Formula One racing team, convicted fraudster, former heroin addict, novelist - and possibly the most colourful figure in the history of Belgian politics.

Van Rossem set up in business as a stock-market guru claiming he found a formula for predicting and beating markets, yielding enormous returns. He set up an investment company called Moneytron, the name of a "supercomputer" able to predict economic fluctuations, a machine nobody else ever got to see as it was supposedly kept behind a locked door in his office.

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