This is kind of old, but it’s a great tale for Friday evening
At an investors’ meeting on the Isle of Man for the start-up the father had suggested, Israel’s CFO got wind of another company, Debit Direct, whose preposterous plan to compete with Western Union and MoneyGram wasn’t entirely clear, but whose pitchman, a six-foot-six venture capitalist named Jack O’Halloran, hugely impressed Israel—telling him he had acted in Superman, Dragnet, and King Kong, slept with Hollywood starlets, and fought George Foreman at Madison Square Garden. All of this was, improbably, true. O’Halloran also told Israel that he was the secret love child of a Gambino-family crime boss and that he was writing a firsthand account revealing the truth about the Kennedy assassination—that the president had been shot by his driver and the footage edited out of the Zapruder film by the CIA. Israel invested $2 million in Debit Direct, followed by $500,000 in O’Halloran’s book.
Worried about Israel’s emotional well-being, his new interior-decorator girlfriend suggested he talk to her psychic, who communicated with a Native American spirit named Silver Cloud. “Good things will happen in the next month or two,” the psychic told Israel. “A financial opportunity will present itself that could make a big change for you.”
It’s got the lot, pretty much. Overall this is basically what happens when the greater fool runs the ponzi scheme while being thoroughly marinated in a spicy matrix of marginally plausible conspiracy-as-a-system by the team running him. Highly modern, but at the same time rigorously adhering to the timeless techniques of the Big Con that date from the era Maurer wrote about. Enjoy (via Richard)