How do big frauds happen?


Am more than convinced that frauds are just waiting to happen – all you need is some little effort. In case you start a “We save stray dogs by covering them with blankets”. All you need is some good campaign, a nice network, some religious leaders to back you, some social leaders to get the initial thing going.

Soon you will have a blog, a website, a magazine, a group of trustees…and perhaps a $ 1 million corpus.

Then you need to open a bank account and put your bank account on all your communication. Suddenly you will have enough money to buy a Mercedes for you and your fellow ‘trustees’.

This is as far as small donations go. How do you convince the ‘sophisticated investor’ to invest in a scheme that you create?

Try the following steps:

   1. Launch a scheme in a small location: the smaller the location you choose the better, nobody should have heard about you.
   2. Once you have some money form a few companies, trusts, and the like.
   3. Get some political support – preferably from 3-4 national parties and 1-2 local parties.
   4. Create jobs, set up a hospital -usually many people wanting to move up on Maslow’s table will be happy to fund you.
   5. Get a few retired bureaucrats, bank chairmen, and the like to adorn your boards. Do not worry about them asking questions.
   6. Join nice networking organizations, but stay away from religious organizations. However you can get some of the religious organizations to co-brand with you.
   7. Allow membership only by word of mouth, and get very well qualified consultants to create impossible to understand jargon.
   8. When people ask too many questions, return their money promptly, and insult them in public. Immediately give a bonus to the social circle of the ex-member.
   9. Give returns consistently and get people to put in more money.
  10. As long as you give Rs.200 as return, but get the investor to invest Rs. 2000 do not worry too much about percentages. That is for the accountants.
  11. Get an auditor who gives squeaky clean reports.
  12. If the auditor does not have an office in NY and London, convince him to open one. Of course you will fund his travel and stay.
  13. Attend and sponsor seminars on ‘Corporate Governance’, ‘Understanding the Risk of Equities’ , talks by anybody who uses words like strategic, black swan, re-sizing, global, local, – ensure that the jargon is dazzling.
  14. Make sure the power point presentations look dazzling. For an amount as small as Rs. 2 lakhs there are organizations who will do that for you.
  15. In your office (in any part of the world) have photos of Dalai Lama, Clintons (if you cannot get it Amar Singh can help), and the likes.
  16. Your brochures should carry a few international addresses for sure.
  17. Hey, what are you waiting for?

Now that you have done all this hard work, go play!

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2 Responses to “How do big frauds happen?”

  1. Ravinder Makhaik on January 4th, 2009 at 12:13 pm


    The ponzi scheme you suggest is tried, tested and proved more successful than many may have expected.

    The Madoff scandal just proved that.

    You have correctly spelt out the steps one would need to get that big and become equally notorious.

  2. I liked the international auditors that you are talking about! Is it a good idea to buy put options in all PWC audited companies? Is it possible to get a list of such companies. If based on GTB case if we had gone short on all PWC audited companies….! ha ha ha LOL

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