Studio Minuit Legendary Crooks - True Stories

Earning money legally? Boooring. It's not just in the movies that you find dishonest people who will do anything to line their pockets. These crooks you're about to hear about have been making money by ripping off the world for years. Worthy of the greatest Hollywood scenarios!Bold and manipulative, they fooled even the smartest people.But these dreams can't last forever; the truth always comes out. In our podcast Legendary Crooks, you'll discover the incredible but true stories of Charles Ponzi, Bernard Madoff, or the story of Victor Lustig, the man who sold the Eiffel Tower.
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John Brinkley : the biggest medical quack
John Brinkley : the biggest medical quack (4:32)
Desiring to become a prominent physician, but unable to afford medical school, John, born in 1885 to born in 1885 to a modest North Carolina family, John decided to buy a degree directly from a degree. With no skills whatsoever, he was now licensed to practice in Kansas, Arkansas, and Missouri. Arkansas, and Missouri. Obviously, this could only turn into a disaster...
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Rudy Kurniawan
Rudy Kurniawan (3:43)
His real name is Zhen Wang Huang, an Indonesian who was considered one of the leading experts in oenology in the early 2000s. Born in Indonesia to Chinese parents, he immigrated to the United States in 1998, where he studied in California. He quickly took the name Rudy Kurniawan, and presented himself as a rich Indonesian heir. He started a career as a wine collector, specializing in French wines and became a key figure in the industry at the age of 30.
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Marthe Hanau
Marthe Hanau (4:22)
Embodied in the cinema by Romy Schneider in the film The Banker, Marthe Hanau has gradually fallen into oblivion. However, her story deserves to be remembered! Born in 1886 in Paris, she became one of the few businesswomen working in finance at the time. It must be said that from her her teenage years, Marthe was determined to lead the life she wanted, despite the authority of her parents.
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Helga de la Brache
Helga de la Brache (3:32)
Born in Stockholm in 1817 into a modest family, Aurora Florentina Magnusson had an early desire to rise above her social standing. In the 1930s, Aurora worked as a domestic servant. In 1838, while working for a wealthy family, she befriended the daughter of her bosses. The young woman became her companion and accomplice. Indeed, in the 1840s the two young women lived together and traveled between Sweden and Finland. It is during this period that Aurora changes her identity, until she becomes Helga de la Brache. In 1860, they return to Stockholm and launch the swindle that will make the legend of Helga.
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Mukhtar Ablyazov
Mukhtar Ablyazov (3:03)
Little known to the general public, this Kazakh businessman has nevertheless committed dantesque frauds. First a politician in Kazakhstan, he was convicted in 1999 for abuse of power, embezzlement, tax evasion and fraud during his term as Minister of Energy. In 2002, as chairman of the supervisory board of a public company, he was charged with abuse of power by the financial police.
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David Stein
David Stein (3:24)
This art forger had the audacity to make counterfeits of artists whose contemporary he was! Born in France in 1935 under the name of Henri Abel Abraham Haddad, he used many pseudonyms of which David Stein is the most famous. He began his forgeries in Paris, and even went so far as to meet Picasso in the south of France to have a drawing he wanted to sell authenticated, and deceived the artist himself! Aware of his stroke of genius, but also of the difficulty of ripping off art dealers in the capital, he decided to leave for the United States. It is there that he will really become an exceptional forger, selling at low prices false paintings of masters, of which the greedy art galleries hardly check the origin and the authenticity.
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Christophe Rocancourt
Christophe Rocancourt (4:20)
He is not one of the swindlers who have made the most money, but Christophe Rocancourt has to become a media personality with trivialized offences. He lived a difficult childhood, with a complicated family situation and an abandonment in an orphanage at only nine years old. It is there that he began his first flights. As a teenager, he left for Paris, where he lived without money and made meetings that opened the world of the night to him. From this time, he gets out of it thanks to his charisma and his ability to lie.
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The carbon tax
The carbon tax (3:36)
The carbon tax Recently brought back to light with a documentary series on Netflix, the VAT fraud on carbon quotas, is a huge scam that was in the news in the late 2000s in France. This case is even considered as the scam of the century. The idea was born in 2005, when the European policies in terms of environmental conservation put in place a tax on carbon emissions of large companies. Thus, each company has a sort of pollution quota beyond which it must pay to continue its activity and its emissions. To do so, the company will buy a share of the quota not exploited by a third company. But the swindlers have detected a flaw in the system: the VAT.
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Aldo Bonassoli
Aldo Bonassoli (4:32)
Nothing predestined Aldo Bonassoli, an Italian farmer and science enthusiast, to be at the heart of a French state scandal. However, with his Belgian associate Alain de Villegas, he meets Jean Violet, a French lawyer with an important political network, and thus marks the beginning of a rather unusual engineering adventure. Indeed, Bonassoli and de Villegas have for project the development of a device which embarked on a plane is able to detect oil deposits from the air.
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Frank Abagnale Jr
Frank Abagnale Jr (4:49)
Made famous in the eyes of the general public thanks to his interpretation by Leonardo Di Caprio in the film "Catch me if you can" directed by Spielberg, Frank Abagnale is a genius imposter. Moreover, he has the particularity to have reconverted himself in the anti-fraud council !
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The Enron scandal
The Enron scandal (4:51)
An American company specializing in the production and transportation of gas, it was founded in 1985 by Kenneth Lay, a former member of the Reagan administration and close to Republican Party heavyweights like Bush, father and son. In the 1990s, deregulation of the energy market led Enron to become an energy broker. The company offered complex financial products to its clients, and this was a period of intense trading. Carried away in its momentum, the firm extends as well to raw materials as to telecommunication by selling bandwidth for example. From 1995 to 2000, the turnover increases from 10 to 100 billion dollars !
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Bernard Madoff
Bernard Madoff (3:52)
On April 14, 2021, in the federal prison in Butner, North Carolina, an 82-year-old inmate died. This man is Bernard Madoff, one of the greatest swindlers in history, the mastermind of the most elaborate Ponzi scheme. The businessman was at the head of one of the main investment companies on Wall Street when he was arrested in 2008. His "pyramid" represented a volume of nearly 65 billion dollars...
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Charles Ponzi
Charles Ponzi (3:44)
We often hear the term Ponzi scheme without knowing exactly where it comes from. A Ponzi scheme - named after its inventor in 1920s Boston - is a financial arrangement that attracts customers whose investments are used to pay the originators and first members, thus creating a fraudulent cycle. As long as subscriptions increase, the deception is covered, but as soon as the income from the new victims is not enough to pay back the clients, the system collapses...
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Victor Lustig
Victor Lustig (4:42)
It is not a question of a salesman on the sly. In the 1920s, Victor Lustig really wanted to sell THE Eiffel Tower. Born in 1890 in Central Europe to a bourgeois family, the young man was a brilliant schoolboy, multilingual, but gradually turned to crime and scams, especially card games. In 1920, he left to conquer the United States where he pretended to be an accountant in order to make his character more credible. Among other things, he managed to swindle Al Capone by selling him a fake money printing machine...
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Wolfgang Beltracchi
Wolfgang Beltracchi (5:01)
The history of art has known many stories of forgers, and even today some manage to deceive the authentication techniques. According to some of them, their best accomplice is the greed of art dealers, more than their credulity. What is the limit between imitation and counterfeit? Between the real and the fake? Is the signature the main element of a painting? Doesn't the fact that many forgers can deceive experts say something about their talent, or even their genius? Among the list of the most famous swindlers, let's look at one of the most recent and impressive: Wolfgang Beltracchi.
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Gilbert Chikli
Gilbert Chikli (3:59)
The principle is simple: contact large fortunes with a patriotic streak, public figures and businessmen, asking them for a favor: the French state cannot publicly pay ransoms for French hostages, and would need these benefactors to finance these operations, for which they would be reimbursed later. To gain the victims' trust, the impostors even made video calls, where one of them wearing a silicone mask pretended to be the French Minister of Defence...
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Anna Delvey
Anna Delvey (4:43)
It is often said that money attracts money. The young Anna Delvey is certainly convinced of this. A German-Russian heiress and a successful woman in the fashion industry, the young woman is making a name for herself in New York's upper crust. There's nothing easier to win over the city's rich than to look as rich as they are. The problem is that it's all a facade: her real name is Anna Sorokin, the young woman has absolutely no money to speak of, and her lifestyle is based solely on the credulity of her social circle...
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Thomas Boursin
Thomas Boursin (3:37)
In the world of sports betting, you may know the term tipster. This one means a kind of adviser, who will give his tips. Thomas Boursin, just over 18, launched in 2014 his own facebook page of sports betting tips. So far nothing serious, but the young Frenchman realizes that he is drowned in the mass. After a few years, he suddenly stops his activities, denouncing the charlatans in this field who exploit the hopes of their clients and charlatans in this environment, who exploit the hopes of their customers and make them dream of impossible gains. impossible gains. Thomas is indignant but promises to launch a project that will change everything...
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Martin Shkreli
Martin Shkreli (3:37)
His name may ring a bell, you may have read about this individual who bought the this individual who bought at auction the last album of the famous rap group Wu Tang Clan, published in a single copy. Or on the sidelines of the 2016 American presidential election, where between two tweets in support of Donald Trump, he offered a $5,000 reward to anyone who could bring him a lock of hair. who would bring him a lock of Hillary Clinton's hair. But if this man was named most hated personality in the United States in 2015, it is for a much more important matter.
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Trailer - Legendary Crooks, True Stories
Trailer - Legendary Crooks, True Stories (1:03)
Earning money legally? Boooring. It's not just in the movies that you find dishonest people who will do anything to line their pockets. These crooks you're about to hear about have been making money by ripping off the world for years. Worthy of the greatest Hollywood scenarios!Bold and manipulative, they fooled even the smartest people.But these dreams can't last forever; the truth always comes out. In our podcast Legendary Crooks, you'll discover the incredible but true stories of Charles Ponzi, Bernard Madoff, or the story of Victor Lustig, the man who sold the Eiffel Tower. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
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John Brinkley : the biggest medical quack