Category Archives: Fraud

Albert T. Patrick – 1900

The forged cheque raised suspicions THE CRIME: Millionaire businessman William Marsh Rice was born in Springfield, Massachusetts on 14 March 1816. He moved to Texas and made a fortune in cotton trading and land and railroad investments. He married twice but had no children and, by 1896, was living with his second wife in a… Read More »

Conrad Black – 2003

“Corporate kleptocracy” THE CRIME: Born in Montreal, Quebec on 25 August 1944, Conrad Moffat Black was a right-wing newspaper proprietor and biographer. At one time he owned The Daily Telegraph, The Sunday Telegraph and The Spectator (UK), Chicago Sun Times (USA), Jerusalem Post (Israel), National Post (Canada), and more than 400 local newspapers in North… Read More »

Nick Leeson – 1995

Rogue Trader THE CRIME: Anonymous traders trade millions each day on stock markets around the world. Their actions are, for the most part, unknown. That changed in 1995 when a derivatives trader by the name of Nick Leeson caused the collapse of Barings Bank, the oldest of the United Kingdom’s investment banks. Leeson was born… Read More »

Enron – 1990s-2001

“There is an appearance that you are hiding something.” THE CRIME: Most people had never heard of a company called Enron until it filed for bankruptcy at the end of 2001. It had been one of the world’s leading utility companies, with 22,000 employees. Investors in the company had lost $60 billion. In the 1990s… Read More »

Guinness Share-trading Fraud – 1990

“Unjustifiable favours for friends and himself” THE CRIME: As with the Michael Milken (search the article) case, the Guinness scandal came to light after American trader Ivan Boesky (search the article) tried to plea bargain his way out of trouble. The Guinness Four — Ernest Saunders, Gerald Ronson, Sir Jack Lyons and Anthony Parries —… Read More »

Leona Helmsley – 1989

“Only the little people pay taxes” THE CRIME: In the 1980s the world learned of hotel magnate Leona Helmsley, who was dubbed the Queen of Mean by the press because of her ruthlessness. Helmsley was born Lena Mindy Rosenthal on 4 July 1920 at Marbletown, Ulster County, New York, the daughter of a hatter. She… Read More »

Ivan Boesky – 1986

“Greed is all right… I think greed is healthy” THE CRIME: Born on 6 March 1937 in Detroit, Michigan, the son of a Russian immigrant, Ivan Frederick Boesky was yet another financier unknown to the public until his public disgrace. He went to Wall Street in 1966 as a stock analyst. Nine years later, he… Read More »

Michael Milken – 1986

“The greatest criminal conspiracy the financial world has ever known” THE CRIME: Born on Independence Day 1946 in Encino, California, Michael Robert Milken was unknown to the general public until 29 March 1989 when he faced 98 charges of racketeering, insider trading and securities fraud and, after plea bargaining, pleaded guilty to six although he… Read More »

Robert Maxwell – 1984-1991

“He is not…a person who can be relied upon to exercise proper stewardship of a publicly quoted company” THE CRIME: Cap’n Bob and the Bouncing Czech were just two of the more printable nicknames for Ian Robert Maxwell (né Jan Ludwig Hoch, born on 10 June 1923). By dint of hard work and sheer bloodymindedness,… Read More »

Hitler Diaries – 1981

“They’re forgeries, pure and simple” THE CRIME: In 1976 Gerd Heidemann was a reporter for the German magazine Stern and he was also in debt. He had just split from his third wife and had spent a fortune on a yacht that once belonged to Hermann Goering. His boss at Stern gave him permission to… Read More »