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Those of you who take an interest in the history of fraud might recognise this man, the others will probably not. You see before you Charles Ponzi, the Italian-American responsible for the Ponzo scheme (similar to, but not the same as, a pyramid scheme). He arrived in the US with two and a half dollars in his pocket having gambled away his entire life savings on the voyage out from Italy. Fifteen years after his arrival he was making as much as $250,000 a day.

Here he is in the roaring 20s doing something mysterious to a tree, the scoundrel.

The winner of the caption competition is Rob Falconer. Congratulations Rob; a bottle of Italian red (Villa Antinori Toscana 2003) is on its way to you.

His winning caption was:

The original Doctor Who grapples with an actor unconvincingly dressed as an...

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Caption
Charles never could spell pansy properly

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Caption
Charles proudly shows off his rubber tree, from which most of his cheques are made

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Caption
Look, how many people would actually want to buy a pyramid?

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Caption
Mr Ponzi demonstrates his new flushing mechanism but realises further development is required before it replaces the hole in the ground

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Caption Competition
John Wyndham gets an idea for a book

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Caption
The original Doctor Who grapples with an actor unconvincingly dressed as an extra-terrestrial rubber plant

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Aspire to tree
Follow the Ponzo system, and you too can own your own tree, just like this one

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Ponzo
Is the Ponzo scheme on the level? It's as straight as the fruit in this tree.

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fruit
travelling 9,000 miles to show little johnny what a banana looked like was perhaps not as economical as going to Asda

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golf
"Play it where it lies!" An early golfing pioneer is having second thoughts about the golf course on a banana plantation

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auditor
An auditor demonstrates how a new invention is going to revolutionize stock checks in the banana industry

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Accounting Industry
"The Accounting Industry is modern and forward-thinking.." claims one member, pictured above.

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Money Tree
Charles Ponzi shows his investors their new money tree.

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walk
In his spare time, George Formby liked nothing better than taking his tree for a walk

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Tax Less taxing?
Tax less Taxing?
Pull the other one Gordon...

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