con man

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'Legendary' Con Artist Accused of New Scam ... From Prison

Authorities say Jimmy Sabatino conned stores out of luxury goods over the phone

(Newser) - Prison appears to be doing nothing to change serial con man Jimmy Sabatino. The Miami Herald reports the "legendary" con artist pleaded guilty Friday to running a lucrative scam out of his cell at a federal facility in Florida. Authorities say Sabatino bought cellphones from corrections officers then used... More »

Cops: Con Man Scammed NBA Stars Out of Their Shoes

He told them he was Adele's manager

(Newser) - A Florida con man with a long history of celebrity-related scams managed to trick several NBA stars into giving him their sneakers, police say. Justin Jackson and his wife, Angel Lii, have been charged with felonies including identity theft and conspiracy to defraud, the Miami Herald reports. Police say that... More »

Inside the Improbable $100M Grift of Bobby Thompson

America's strangest conman who also might be a CIA operative

(Newser) - With his fake-looking pompadour and nonprescription glasses, Bobby Charles Thompson came across like a "kook"—but, as one political consultant puts it, that was the "brilliance of his con." The Washingtonian dives headlong into the bizarre tale of Thompson, who was behind what is believed to... More »

Infamous Con Man Found Living in Illegal Mountain Shack

James Hogue once posed as high-school student and track star

(Newser) - Time named him one of America's "top 10 impostors," and now James Hogue is likely headed back to prison after authorities found him living in a homemade shack high in the Colorado mountains. A police officer spotted the 57-year-old con man in the illegal shack on... More »

The Biggest Self-Help Charlatan You Never Heard Of

Napoleon Hill wrote a best-selling book, but he also lived a life of 'countless scams'

(Newser) - Long before Deepak Chopra and Tony Robbins started preaching about how to be the best you possible, Napoleon Hill was peddling his own self-help mantras, penning 1937's Think and Grow Rich and inspiring not just cult-like behavior, but an actual cult. Matt Novak dives into Hill's jaw-dropping backstory... More »

After 'Chinese Blessing' Turns Out to Be Scam, an Arrest

Attorney says accused was smuggled into US, her participation was forced

(Newser) - Back in July, police in New York announced they were looking for a group of female grifters involved in a "Chinese blessing scam" that has taken off in Brooklyn's Asian neighborhoods, reports Jezebel . The women were said to eavesdrop on conversations to figure out what problems a person... More »

Con Man Fooled Soldiers, Lived in Army Barracks for Months

He even assigned rooms and conducted inspections

(Newser) - The Fayetteville Observer has a crazy look at how a 20-year-old con man successfully lived in the barracks at Fort Bragg for months despite never having served in the military. His ruse was apparently so successful he even started assigning rooms to new soldiers and conducting room inspections. The information... More »

Our Greatest Con Man Remains a Mystery

'Count Victor Lustig' once sold the Eiffel Tower

(Newser) - He called himself Count Victor Lustig. Others knew him as "the smoothest con man that ever lived" and a "top man in the modern world of crime." After all, he did sell the Eiffel Tower. And his counterfeit US banknotes were so authentic that authorities were concerned... More »

How an Online Dating Scam Ruined a Woman's Life

'Wired' takes in-depth look at a common scheme

(Newser) - You've no doubt received and deleted your share of obvious scam emails, but a piece by Brendan Koerner at Wired shows in wrenching detail how an email or message at a vulnerable time can throw a life off track. The story follows the travails of Audrey Elrod, who was... More »

Inmate Escapes by Emailing Own Release Order to Jail

A crime of 'extraordinary criminal inventiveness, deviousness': prosecutor

(Newser) - A smuggled cellphone and an online scheme that even a British judge called "ingenious" allowed a 28-year-old inmate waiting for his fraud trial to escape prison, NBC News reports. Last March, Neil Moore was housed in England's Wandsworth Prison—the same facility that once housed Julian Assange and... More »

Man Faked Quadriplegia in Effort to Duck Court

Alan Knight admitting to stealing $65K from neighbor

(Newser) - Some people work so hard to not have to work: Such is the case of Alan Knight, a 47-year-old Welsh man who conned $65,000 out of his neighbor, an 85-year-old pensioner with dementia. He then went to great lengths to avoid prosecution—claiming to be a quadriplegic and even... More »

Scammers Sell Woman iPad Made of ... Wood

Imagine her surprise when it turned out to be a wood block

(Newser) - Ashley McDowell probably should have been suspicious when two guys approached her in a South Carolina McDonald’s parking lot and offered to sell her an iPad for $300. She almost certainly should have gotten suspicious when, after she explained she only had $180, the pair still agreed to the... More »

Madoff: Banks 'Had to Know' About My Scheme

In first interview, says they were 'complicit' by not acting against him

(Newser) - How did Bernie Madoff pull off such a massive Ponzi scheme under the noses of the banks and hedge funds he dealt with? Simple, he says. They knew he was a fraud. “They had to know,” Madoff tells the New York Times in his first interview since being... More »

Mom Faked Kid's Cancer to Scam Church

Woman allegedly drugged son to make him appear ill

(Newser) - A Michigan mom was charged with three felony counts today, after allegedly tricking her son into believing he had cancer, and the local church into raising money for him. According to police, Carol Lynn Schnuphase, 47, told her 12-year-old boy he had leukemia, then shaved his head, drugged his food,... More »

Drunk Off the Hook for Losing $1.3M Painting

Owner drops lawsuit after figuring out her co-owner's a conman

(Newser) - Kristyn Trudgeon is dropping her lawsuit against the drunken courier who said he lost her $1.3 million painting after learning that her co-owner was a convicted art thief. Trudgeon realized who she was dealing with when she saw a mugshot of partner Thomas Doyle, the AP reports. Doyle, it... More »

High-Class Cat Burglar 'Rico Suave' Roams LA

Debonair thief took $45K from Four Seasons days before Oscars

(Newser) - The LAPD has been on his trail since October, but that didn’t stop debonair burglar “Rico Suave” from pulling off a heist just days before the Oscars at one of Beverly Hills’ most glamorous hotels in the middle of a massive police presence. The thief apparently used his... More »

Feds Sue 'Psychic' Over $6M Stock Scam

SEC: man preyed on 'gullible' investors

(Newser) - The SEC is suing a self-proclaimed stock 'psychic' for allegedly bilking $6 million from gullible investors. Regulators say Sean David Morton, who runs the Delphi Investment Group out of California, falsely claimed to have a record of predicting the market. He funneled investor money into foreign currency trading firms and... More »

US Cops Nab International Chameleon Conman

Smooth-talking Colombian scammed luxury hotels in many countries

(Newser) - A Colombian fraudster wanted in seven countries has been arrested after entering the US from Canada on a phony passport. Juan Carlos Guzman-Betancourt, known to have at least 10 aliases, made his living scamming luxury hotels, often pretending to be a guest who had forgotten the combination to his safe... More »

Madoff Moved to NC Prison

With transfer, con man begins his 150-year sentence

(Newser) - Bernard Madoff was transferred today from Manhattan’s Metropolitan Correctional Center to a prison in Butner, NC, to serve out his 150-year sentence, sources tell CNBC. Madoff’s attorney had requested that the 71-year-old convicted Ponzi schemer do his time at Otisville in upstate New York. The prison system tries... More »

Madoff Won't Appeal

Conman resigned to life in prison

(Newser) - Bernie Madoff will do his time, his lawyer said today. The 71-year-old con man sentenced to 150 years in prison on a slew of fraud charges related to his massive Ponzi scheme won’t file an appeal, Bloomberg reports. “In terms of the appeal, done, over,” Madoff’s... More »

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