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Old 09.09.2011, 16:20
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Top 10 expat con artists

Top 10 expat con artists
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No.1: John 'Goldfinger' Palmer
John 'Goldfinger' Palmer was convicted of running a multi-million pound Tenerife timeshare scam involving 6,000 British would-be expats in 2001. He was sentenced to eight years in prison, but was released in 2005 after serving half of his sentence.
The Briton's nickname arises from the fact that in 1983 he was acquitted of handling gold stolen from the 26 million Brinks Mat bullion raid at Heathrow Airport.

No.2: Nick Leeson
Derivatives trader Nick Leeson famously brought down Barings bank, the UK's investment oldest bank, after making a series of unauthorised trades from his desk in Singapore. The fraud came to light on January 16 1995 after Leeson wagered that the Japanese stock market would not move significantly overnight. Little did he know the Kobe earthquake, which struck in the early hours of the following morning, would send the Asian markets and his trading positions into freefall.
The bank's losses ran to twice its trading capital (just under 1 billion) and resulted in it being declared insolvent the following month. After going on the run, Leeson was caught and extradited to Singapore where he was sentenced to six and a half years in Changi Prison.

No.3: Graham Briggs
In the guise of a financial adviser, smooth-talking Graham Briggs conned expats living in France's Dordogne out of more than 1 million. Promising lucrative returns on what he referred to as copper-bottomed investments, Briggs took life savings from a number of pensioners and left one couple living in a caravan after conning them out of 450,000. Despite being convicted, he escaped jail in France after being told the jails were full.

No.4: Shahra Marsh
Living on incapacity benefits, fraudsterShahra Marsh posed as a French/Iranian heiress called Madame de Savigny and tricked Europe's top auction houses and shops out of more then 2 million worth of art, clothes and jewels. Following her arrest for bouncing cheques in 2006, police uncovered 1 million of goods in a lock-up in London's Docklands Among the haul, police found a diamond ring worth 100,000 and a Napoleon III bureau. Marsh, a British national of Iranian origin, admitted 20 charges of fraudulently obtaining and concealing goods. She was sentenced to six years in prison.

No.5: Swiss Max
A silver-tongued hitchhiker known as 'Swiss Max' is believed to have tricked hundreds of French motorists into giving him money. So cunning, in fact, were his tricks that he was found not guilty by a French court on the grounds that he never asked for the money he had been given (people found themselves offering it to him, he would react with embarrassment and they'd insist he take it).
Fluent in French, German, Spanish, Italian and English, with a glowing tan, faultless manners and a ready alias, he hitchhiked his way across France using a variety of sob stories to trick drivers into bankrolling him. He alway took an address and promised to send a cheque, only the cheques never arrived. Some victims were so taken in by his tales that they took him home for dinner and in a few cases, offered him a bed for the night.

No.6: Raj Rajaratnam
Raj Rajaratnam, educated at theUniversity of Sussex, is currently facing a 20-year sentence in the US for setting up one of the largest illegal stock-tipping networks in the past 30 years. During the trial the jury heard secretly recorded telephone calls between Rajaratnam and contacts at various companies leaking him inside information which he used to cheat Wall Street out of an estimated 30 million.

No.7: Juan Carlos Guzman-Betancourt
The Colombian jewel thiefJuan Carlos Guzman-Betancourt was 29 when he was sentenced to three and a half years for a worldwide crime spree that netted him an estimated 500,000. He was still 29 when he absconded from HMP Standford Hill in Kent, after trusting staff let him out for a dental appointment.
Immaculately dressed, charming and well-connected, he appeared to have no trouble in persuading staff in top hotels that he had lost his room or safe key.
In one incident in 2001, he burgled four London hotels then used a stolen credit card to rent a chauffeur-driven Bentley to Heathrow, where he spent 8,000 in the shops before flying to Paris to tour designer boutiques.

No.8: Alan Edwin Gardner
Financial advisor Alan Edwin Gardner netted half a million by targeting rich expats in the Far East with a get-rich-quick scam he cooked up in his West Midlands home. He was jailed for six years in 2010 after his bogus foreign currency trading scheme came to the attention of finance workers in South East Asia. Four Britons living in Indonesia lost their retirement nest eggs after falling for the scam, which offered returns of 48 per cent per year.

No.9: Robert Tringham
British conman Robert Tringham, once sued by Bruce Springsteen, traded on charm, confidence and his cut-glass English accent to swindle US investors out of millions. US financial investigators believe he left a trail of misery across 10 American states dating back to the 1980s. He was sentenced to 13 years earlier this year for operating a Ponzi scheme and was ordered to pay 6 million in compensation.
Proceeds of his crimes were spent on a mansion in the hills of Diamond Bar, California, a luxury Land Rover and fertility treatment for his girlfriend, prosecutors said.

No.10: Bjorn Stiedl
In 2005, Danish con artist Bjorn Stiedl was sentenced to four-and-a-half years imprisonment for plundering more than 2 million from a UK company pension fund, leaving 200 former workers at a forklift truck plant in Glasgow with over a 2 million hole in their 5 million pension pot.
Southwark Crown Court was told that Stiedl, who was living in Esher, Surrey, at the time, used the proceeds of his crime to fund a luxurious lifestyle and shower gifts on his secretary.
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Old 09.09.2011, 16:26
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Re: Top 10 expat con artists

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No.3: Graham Briggs
In the guise of a financial adviser, smooth-talking Graham Briggs conned expats living in France's Dordogne out of more than 1 million
sheesh what an amateur... 1 million???
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Old 09.09.2011, 16:27
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Re: Top 10 expat con artists

Sorry i dont agree, the biggest con artists are the Politicians
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Old 09.09.2011, 16:32
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Re: Top 10 expat con artists

No.4: Shahra Marsh
Living on incapacity benefits, fraudsterShahra Marsh posed as a French/Iranian heiress called Madame de Savigny and tricked Europe's top auction houses and shops out of more then 2 million worth of art, clothes and jewels. Following her arrest for bouncing cheques in 2006, police uncovered 1 million of goods in a lock-up in London's Docklands Among the haul, police found a diamond ring worth 100,000 and a Napoleon III bureau. Marsh, a British national of Iranian origin, admitted 20 charges of fraudulently obtaining and concealing goods. She was sentenced to six years in prison. Now believed to be living in upstate New York, where she tinkers with Trent engines, reads Wikipedia and vainly rails against the world on the internet.

Hmmm....
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