1st Edition

The Politics of Ponzi Schemes History, Theory and Policy

By Marie Springer Copyright 2021
    338 Pages
    by Routledge

    338 Pages
    by Routledge

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    In the space of three years, from 2009 to 2012 Bernie Madoff, Tom Petters and R. Allen Stanford were all convicted for running multi-billion dollar Ponzi schemes. These three schemes alone have had the largest financial take in U.S. history. But what role does the economy and legislation play in the occurrences of Ponzi schemes?  What is the nature of Ponzi schemes and what are their tools and mechanisms? What can we know about Ponzi perpetrators?

    Unraveling the answers to these questions (and many more), Marie Springer provides the first representative portrait of Ponzi schemes, their perpetrators, and their victims. Adopting a multidisciplinary approach, she begins by presenting an overview of different types of Ponzi schemes. She later explores perpetrators and victims of Ponzi schemes followed by a close examination of economic trends, regulatory changes, and the financial relationship with Ponzi schemes. Other key features include:

    • A non-technical overview of both offender based and offense-based approaches of studying this form of fraud.

    • Examples of Ponzi schemes and Ponzi schemers.

    • A wealth of descriptive statistics on known federal cases from the 1960s until the present to quantify this specific form of fraud.

    Broadening our understanding of Ponzi schemes as a form of white-collar crime, The Politics of Ponzi Schemes provides an excellent foundation for students and practitioners of public administration, banking, as well as investors, finance and accounting, law enforcement officers, legislators and regulators.

    Introduction: Ponzi Scheme Research and Overview

    Part 1: The Ponzi Schemes

    1. Ponzi Scheme and White-collar Crime

    2. Typological Categories of Ponzi Schemes

    3. Tools of Carrying out the Ponzi Schemes

    4. Ways, Manner and Means Used to Carry Out the Schemes

    5. The Money

    Part 2: The Perpetrators and Victims

    6. Trust, Persuasion, Gullibility and Greed

    7. The Ponzi Perpetrators

    8. The Victims

    9. Sentencing and Sanctions

    Part 3: Laws, Economics, and History

    10. Economic Theory and Financial Trends

    11. Laws, Regulation and Legislative History

    12. Significant and Unique Ponzi Schemes in History

    13. Conclusion


    Marie Springer is an adjunct assistant professor in the Departments of Economics and Public Managment at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, City University of New York. Her research interests are white-collar crimes in financial markets, affinity-fraud, banking industries, elder-fraud in financial markets, and government accountability. Her research looks at the government responses in legislation and the effectiveness of the legislation in controlling, preventing, and punishing white-collar crimes in financial markets.

    "Quite simply, this is the most comprehensive academic resource on Ponzi schemes to date. It is invaluable to not only criminologists, legal experts, and students, but also should be required reading for those in the general public with financial investments. From detailed typologies of Ponzi schemes, to economic trends that facilitate them, to characteristics of both victims and perpetrators, Springer has provided us with a veritable encyclopedia of these devastating frauds."

    Colleen P. Eren, William Paterson University, author of Bernie Madoff and the Crisis: The Public Trial of Capitalism.

    "Springer provides an insightful analysis of Ponzi schemes in the United States that examines politics, policies, case histories, victims, offenders and legal responses. The book sheds renewed light on a costly and widespread form of white-collar crime, and will be a valuable resource for practitioners and scholars alike."

    Henry N. Pontell, Distinguished University Professor, John Jay College of Criminal Justice, CUNY, Professor Emeritus, University of California, Irvine

    "A thorough, comprehensive and understandable analysis of Ponzi schemes-the types, motivations, and consequences."

    Thomas Tornow, Retired Attorney, Judge and Law School Instructor