Charles Ponzi was born March 3, 1882 in Lugo, Italy.
According to Wikipedia, Charles Ponzi arrived in Boston aboard the S.S. Vancouver On November 15, 1903. By his own account, Ponzi had $2.50 in his pocket, he told the New York Times, “I landed in this country with $2.50 in cash and $1 million in hopes, and those hopes never left me”. In early 1920, Ponzi started his own company, the “Securities Exchange Company” to help promote his scheme. By June 1920, people had invested $2.5 million in Ponzi’s scheme (almost $30 million in 2017). By July, he was raking in a million dollars a week and climbing. By the end of July, he was approaching a million dollars per day.
Ponzi was an Italian swindler and con artist, arguably one of the most famous in history, who popularized a scam he learned about while working for Banco Zarossi in Montreal, Canada. He was so successful with it, the scam was later named after him – The Ponzi Scheme. His “Ponzi Scheme” raked in $20 million from his “investors” in a little more than a year before it fell apart. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Ponzi)
A Ponzi Scheme involves a scam artist promising investors aggressive RETURNS on money they invest into an “opportunity”, usually a non-existent business. The scam then relies on repaying those investors from the cash flow coming in from new investors )as opposed to company revenue or profits, there likely are none). As long as the flow of new investors keep pouring, some of the invested money can flow to the top of the pyramid and keep early investors happy, while the scam artist pockets the rest, usually to finance a lavish lifestyle. Early investors often become, perhaps unbeknownst to them, the scam’s biggest proponents and salesmen.
You may be familiar with the saying “robbing Peter to pay Paul” – a Ponzi Scheme is based exactly on that premise, but what happens when you can’t find another Peter to rob? The scam falls apart and 90-97% of the investors lose their money, while only a small percentage end up with profits made off the scam. These are usually the founders and the early investors – know as NET WINNERS. In many cases the Net Winners are required to disgorge their profits in order to pay restitution to the victims, also known as the Net Losers. When the Net Winners are unwilling to do so voluntarily, the court can issue a judgment in favor of the receiver so that the receiver can pursue the Net Winners’ assets.
Google “Ponzi Scheme Net Winners” – there is a lot of information available online, both from prior cases and recent ones.