Episode 39: Charles Ponzi – Italians, Coupons, Skin Transplants and Florida

Tuesday, February 22nd 2022 | 00:49:47

It’s the Italian swindler of excellence! The Picasso of con artists! The king of kings of fraudsters Charles Ponzi! We’ve all heard about the Ponzi schemes but who was Ponzi? What did he do to have a scheme named after him? We invited Patrick O’Boyle to help us understand Charles Ponzi twisted and brilliant mind better. Also, Dr. Amir Mahan Ghaznavi (Yes, Seena’s brother) shares with us some useful information to prove that Ponzi’s redemption story was pure trash! In this episode, we learn who Charles Ponzi was before becoming the king of fraud, how he got to America, and his neverending scheme stories. Tune in and find out why he is the crème de la crème of fraudsters!


(02:10) - It’s the proto fraudster! The king of kings of frauds! The Italian immigrants' scam! The Lord and Savior Charles Ponzi! 

(07:54) - Patrick O’Boyle is here to help us illustrate and paint a more beautiful picture of what Ponzi actually is to the Italian people and who he was back then. 

(15:36) - Ponzi comes to America! Why Italians might have gravitated toward the banking center? Patrick O’Boyle shares his theory about it.

(25:04) - Ponzi’s crime beginnings: Faking a check, his job as ‘Special Assistant to a prison warden at the Canadian Prison,’ becoming the Canadian Coyote, and more time in prison.

(29:31) - Rebooting his image - Becoming a nurse at a mining camp and giving 50 inches of his skin to a fellow nurse. Is that even possible? Let’s see what Dr. Amir has to say…

(37:36) - It's the beginning of his iconic fraud! The creation of The Securities Exchange Company which promised a 100% return on investment in his postal reply coupons in 90 days. 

(43:47) - Meet Charles Burelli and Andrea Luciana - Changing identities, faking deaths, and changing jobs. Scam and prison being the only constant things in Ponzi’s life.


The Italian American Podcast website

Patrick O’Boyle on Facebook

Patrick O’Bolye on Instagram

Dr. Amir Mahan Ghaznavi Cleveland Clinic’s Website

Dr. Amir Mahan Ghaznavi on LinkedIn

Dr. Amir Mahan Ghaznavi on Twitter

Show Contributors
  • Seena Ghaznavi
  • Justin Williams