(The biggest cons) Conning is not only illegitimate but also extremely formidable to execute. Hoodwinking a person notwithstanding know that all your soi-distant arguments stand on the pedestal of utter fallacy is in itself a matter of great ingenuity and only a few people have got the hormones requisite of effecting such deeds, a.k.a. the biggest cons.
Here are five biggest cons who made the world’s toes curl!
George C. Parker- The Old Con
At number 1 in the list of biggest cons is George C. Parker. In panoramic spectacle photographs of the United States, you must have seen the Brooklyn Bridge and the Statue of Liberty. Though most just can’t get over these monuments’ grandeur, one conman indeed sold these American landmarks. George C. Parker sold the Brooklyn Bridge twice. The story doesn’t end here. He sold the Statue of Liberty as well as the Madison Square Garden. Besides all these acts of mulcting people, he also impersonated former US President Ulysses S. Grant’s grandson and tried to sell Grant’s tomb!
Was Parker too smart for his age or were his contemporaries utterly moron?
Charles Ponzi- The Pioneer of Cons
Though the world went oblivious to many other conmen, Ponzi has been a beacon in this world of infamy. In fact, the Ponzi scheme technique which inspired further ‘great’ cons like Bernard Madoff, was named after none other than Charles Ponzi. Initially, Ponzi started by manipulating international coupon systems. He realized the fact that postage stamps bought in one country can be sold in some other country at a good profit. When soon he got fed up with this act, he fomented his extreme conning skills to swindle investors worth more than $220 million, through his conceptualized idea of the notorious Ponzi scheme. His actions led to the crashing of six banks and thus, he is one of the biggest cons ever.
Ferdinand Waldo Demara- The Talented among Cons
Demara’s story started too soon. He conned a chocolate shop owner to distribute chocolates to his whole class. This guy took his talents to an extreme level when he adopted a false identity as a psychology doctorate and taught at many institutions, colleges, church etc. When he got bored being a psychologist, he stole the identity of a biologist and studied Law for one year. This too didn’t seem challenging to him. Afterwards, he joined the navy and became a surgeon. Interestingly, he actually learned surgery and performed extensive surgeries onboard HMS Cayuga, a Canadian Ship deployed in Korean War. His fame as a surgeon grew so much that despite knowing about his deeds, the Canadian army didn’t post any charges against him.
All in all, this unscrupulously scrupulous guy was a con with a unique mind.
Natwarlal: The Master of Indian Cons
Here comes our great Indian con Natwarlal. Born in the Siwan district of Bihar, Natwarlal was a lawyer by profession. Oxymoronically, he left no stone unturned in floundering the very law that he studied and practiced before becoming a conman. Mithilesh Kumar Srivastava a.k.a Natwarlal used as much as 50 different identities to hide. He was a virtuoso at forging the signatures of famous celebrities and hence using this ‘skill’ went on to sell Taj Mahal, Red Fort, Rashtrapati Bhavan and Indian Parliament (along with the 545 sitting members). Some of his prey was the biggest corporate houses in the country. Apart from that, he also hoodwinked many big shopkeeper worth lakhs of rupees.
Wanted for more than hundred cases, he was finally sentenced to 113 years in prison. However, he only spent 20 years in prison. He escaped nine times in dramatic jailbreaks. Amusingly, his last escape occurred when he was 84 years old. Matching up to his identity, even the veracity of the date of his death is a matter of debate. Therefore, he is one of the biggest cons ever.
Frank Abagnale Jr.: The Impersonator Con
Who can ever forget Steven Spielberg’s 2002, “Catch me if you can” starring Tom Hanks and Leonardo DiCaprio? Frank Abagnale forged cheque worth million dollars, conned numerous countries including the USA, Turkey, Italy, France, Sweden and many others. Impersonated as a lawyer (Harvard Law School Graduate), airlines pilot, physician and many other disputed identities.
After being caught, he served 12 months in a French prison and while being extradited to the US, he made an escape from the aircraft. After finally getting caught, he was sentenced to 12 years in prison; but only served less than five years.
Till then, he had become such an expert in cheque forgery that FBI gave him a no-pay job as a respite from his sentence. Afterwards, he went on to open his own company which helps big corporate companies and government organizations in dealing with money laundering and cheque forgeries. He also coaches FBI in matters regarding counterfeit cheque, drafts, and bills.
Did I forget to mention that he did all the con business before his 21st birthday?
So, these were the biggest cons ever. With their wit they conned many!
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