Fraudulent Money-Making Schemes: Background information when reading The Dream Merchant

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The Dream Merchant

By Fred Waitzkin

The Dream Merchant
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  • Hardcover: Mar 2013,
    304 pages.

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Beyond the Book:
Fraudulent Money-Making Schemes

In The Dream Merchant, Jim made his money in fraudulent ways. Aided by his business partner Marvin Gessler, who was the mastermind of the fraud, Jim made millions through elaborate pyramid schemes.

A pyramid scheme Pyramid schemes rely on recruiting buyers who then recruit other buyers and so on. The original buyer, the con man, needs other buyers to generate sales before he starts to make money. As each new recruit pays, the original buyer gets a cut. The scheme quickly collapses once the people at the bottom cannot recruit buyers and the money does not pay out. The Wealth Pools International scandal in 2007 is an example of a complex pyramid scheme. Wealth Pools claimed to sell foreign language DVDs through a global network of salespeople. New salespeople purchased DVDs that they would try to sell for profit, but these salespeople only saw profits when they recruited new salespeople, not from DVD sales. The scheme affected nearly 70,000 people in 64 countries and cost participants $132 million...

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