Charles Ponzi remains the biggest con artist in history. He was an Italian swindler and con artist in the US and Canada. He had many aliases, including Charles Ponci, Carlo, Charles P. Bianchi, and many more.
Born and raised in Italy, he became famous in the early 1920s as a swindler in North America for his money-making scheme.
In the 1920s, he made more than $15 million in eight months by persuading tens of thousands of Bostonians that he had unlocked the secret to easy wealth.
While the term Ponzi Scheme was coined after him, he is not the first con artist to use such scheme. The first recorded instance of this sort of investment scam can be traced to the mid-to-late 1800s, orchestrated by Adele Spitzeder in Germany and Sarah Howe in the United States.