William “520%” Miller (The Ponzi Files)

| February 21, 2014



New York investors of 1889 discovered the hottest financial opportunity in the United States thanks to William Miller, a twenty-one year old man struggling to support his sick wife and baby.

Follow the story of the 21 year old man who defrauded 13,000 people of a total exceeding $1 million dollars in 1899. The full story behind this classic Ponzi scheme might never have been known if it weren’t for the persuasive skills of a single district attorney who visited William Miller’s jail cell and managed to penetrate his wall of silence.

Although many people credit Carlo “Charles” Ponzi with inventing the Ponzi scheme, William “520 per cent” Miller and his Franklin Syndicate scam predated Ponzi’s postage coupon scam by 20 years – and may have provided Ponzi with the inspiration for his own fraud.


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