Charles Ponzi was born on March 3, 1882 in Lugo located near Ravenna (northern Italy). almost nothing is known about a young Italian fraudster. And all that is known causes a number of issues. In his interview with The New York Times Ponzi told about his noble origin, that his family was wealthy enough, about how in his youth he spent money like water and that he studied at the University of Rome. Supposedly, Charles came without capital to the US as he realized that money was gone, it’s time for him to get a job.
In general, it’s a beautiful story. But it is invented. During interrogations, Ponzi told absolutely different stories, from which it can be assumed that Charles had always lived not too wealthy, and his only dream was to reach financial well-being, constantly pushing him to make small financial fraud. By the way, it was not without consequence. Charles PonziCharles Ponzimany times found himself behind bars for his tricks of graded offence.
So, in 1903 Ponzi arrived in the United States. It is interesting that initially the Italian had some savings, but on the way to America, he lost almost all while playing the cards. As a result, he was in the US with the capital of $ 2.5. Charles learned English quickly enough, and almost immediately found work. However, it was poorly paid, and did not deserve respect — he worked as a dishwasher in a restaurant. There was no money even to rent lodging. So he slept at work. On the floor.
Over time Ponzi was promoted. And he became a waiter. Alas, job involving money could not be trusted to this man. Ponzi often cheated customers. in the end, he paid for it – he was fired. Then Charles went to seek his fortune in Canada. Alas, this man’s tendency to financial machinations brought him to jail in Montreal. Ponzi was convicted of forgery. Then the young swindler was given a 3 year term in prison. But he was released for good behavior 20 months later.
However, Ponzi spent only 10 days at large. It was after this period of time he was arrested again. This time for an attempt to bring his countrymen across the border. Ponzi was again sent to prison. After 2 years, Charles was released. Further several years of his life were covered in mist. It can be assumed that during this time nothing interesting happened to him. This part of his life began in 1919, when it came to the “Ponzi scheme.”