Friday, July 13, 2007

The Three Card Monte Roadshow and a bit of higher education

Every time I think the old con games are dead and buried, one resurfaces. Perhaps they are zombies.

The venerable game of Three Card Monte recently made an appearance at a truck stop on Route 206. This sounds like an old-style road mob only smaller and less smart. Letting yourself get caught on camera tossing the broad is not a good career move, especially if the take is only a couple of grand.

On the other hand, check out the cajones on Ralph Cucciniello. This guy volunteers to be a researcher at Yale and then claims to have found an immigration loophole. He convinced a couple of hundred immigrants (mostly Irish) that for a mere $5K each he could guarantee them a green card. He also ran a longer scam on a Long Island couple that netted him over $100K. I'm guessing that he'll be spending more than a few days in prison, and he probably won't be able to wear his Yale t-shirt.

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Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Hey, lady... you got two tens for a five?

I've always had a soft spot for change raising, but have always considered it a very, very small con... at most you'd expect to net ten or twenty bucks from a gullible clerk.

In certain circumstances, however, the scam can be much more lucrative. A couple of guys in Oklahoma used the hustle on a dimwitted store clerk and netted $300! I don't know how in the world they managed that, but it's probably a record haul. The store clerk must have emptied the till right on the counter to lose that much money.

One transaction at a time, people... it's not that hard.

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Sunday, June 03, 2007

Sweet Sixteen and Never Been Scammed

Everyone loves a good, old-fashioned oil scam, particularly one that brought in $20M-$25M. What's a little securities fraud among friends, right? Usually the hustler would fake a gusher or two, take in a bunch of money, and then disappear completely.

Gary Milby seems to have followed the plan perfectly, right up to the point where he appeared on MTV. It seems that Gary is awfully fond of his ultra-spoiled daughter Ariel. This particular little mermaid recently appeared alongside her father on My Super Sweet 16. Ariel apparently shares her father's love of oil wells, exclaiming "I love oil! Oil means shoes and cars and purses!"
If the authorities ever catch up with Gary, oil (or more accurately the complete lack thereof) will probably mean fines, prosecution and jail time. His former investors are steaming mad after watching their former money pay for helicopter rides, a huge party and a brand new BMW for 16-year-old Ariel.

Normally I'd give the guy's daughter a pass on the wrongdoings of her father, but since she's a spoiled, demanding brat who has delusions of being a princess, I'm going to make an exception.

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