In this August 2020 file photo, a sign attached to a pole on the Brian Lara Promenade, Port of Spain, promises easy money while you relax at home. – SUREASH CHOLAI

MATT WARNER, journalist

November 2020 was the 100-year anniversary of the imprisonment of Charles Ponzi – infamous creator of the fraudulent scheme to which he gave his name. Exactly a century later, Gutemberg Dos Santos, founder of AirBit Club, a cryptocurrency mining and trading company, was charged in the US with various offences relating to an alleged ‘international investment scam’, which, as described by the prosecutor, has all the hallmarks of a Ponzi scheme.

Ponzi’s notorious investment scheme remains popular with criminals today and involves using the investments of subsequent investors to pay the earliest investors in an unsustainable scheme, typically promising huge returns.

Fraudsters like the Ponzi model because…

Read more…