Carlo Pietro Giovanni Guglielmo Tebaldo Ponzi, commonly known as Charles Ponzi, is an Italian businessman and con artist in the U.S. and Canada. His aliases include Charles Ponei, Charles P. Bianchi, Carl and Carlo. Born in Italy, he became known in the early 1920s as a swindler in North America for his money making scheme. Charles Ponzi promised clients a 50% profit within 45 days, or 100% profit within 90 days, by buying discounted postal reply coupons in other countries and redeeming them at face value in the United States as a form of arbitrage. In reality, Ponzi was paying early investors using the investments of later investors. This type of scheme is now known as a "Ponzi Scheme". Ponzi was probably inspired by the scheme of William F. Miller, a Brooklyn bookkeeper who in 1899 used the same scheme to take in $1 million.
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