You've heard of a Ponzi Scheme; here's an introduction to the original schemer, Charles Ponzi of Boston, circa 1920.
  1. He donated the skin off his back to save a badly burned woman.
  2. He hired a personal poet to write odes about him.
  3. He carried a million-dollar bank check to prove he was legit.
  4. He invested some of his "earnings" in a macaroni company.
  5. Heavyweight champ "Gentleman Jim" Corbett volunteered to be his bodyguard.
  6. He truly believed his scheme would work.