Tuesday, 28 June 2020

If you're going to tell a lie tell a big one - the almost perfect con.

No doubt that greatest con-artist has never been caught. More likely, he or she is a celebrated figure and sitting on a gargantuan pile of cash. The case of Langbar International, a cash-shell company with no cash, shows how smart criminals can pull off paper heists. Using fake documents and dozy professionals, they floated a company on a London stock exchange in 2003 claiming to have $633 million cash reserves in a Brazilian bank. It turns out they didn't. Investors were stung for at least $53 million but investigators think losses could be well over $100 million. The real losses will now never be known. Chief executive Stuart Pearson, seen as a patsy in the sting, was the only person convicted and got a 12-month sentence last week. When he turned up in Brazil to check on the firm's cash, he was told a bomb scare had shut down the offices and was directed to a new location to meet the bank's "lawyers." His reassurances to London investors made all the difference. Read The Guardian's coverage.


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