In the days before the world discovered Ponzi’s operation was a fraud, one reporter visited an ex-convict in a rural area of New York state and asked him what he thought of Ponzi’s scheme.
That man was William “520% Miller. 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.
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.