46 mins

Who Was D.B. Cooper? An Amateur Sleuth Is Closing in on the Infamous Hijacker's True Identity.

On Thanksgiving Eve of 1971, a hijacker known as D.B. Cooper parachuted out of a commercial airplane with $200,000 in ransom money and was never seen again. It’s the only unsolved commercial airline hijacking in U.S. history, and the FBI officially closed the books on the investigation nearly a decade ago.  But while the Feds have thrown in the towel, citizen detective Eric Ulis is still fighting to learn the truth. For years, Ulis has been working on his own to keep the case alive and, thanks to a recent discovery, says he is on the verge of a breakthrough in revealing Cooper’s true identity. All he needs is a little cooperation with the FBI, which he is suing the agency to get. In this episode, we speak with Ulis to get the amazing story of this daring and dangerous heist and delve into the modern detective tactics he is using to put some heat on this cold case. Ulis has made some incredible discoveries that could, at last, reveal the identity of the hijacker — all he needs now is for the Feds to give him access to a clip-on tie, one of the few pieces of evidence Cooper left behind when he jumped out of that plane. Whether you’re fascinated by historical crimes or fascinated by modern detective work, we can guarantee this: you will be fascinated by this episode! Thanks as always for listening. Please rate and review us, and if you want to learn even more about D.B. Cooper, be sure to check out Kevin Ulis’s CooperCon events.

42 mins

Meet the Killer Con Man Who Claimed to be a Rockefeller

Con man Christian Gerhartsreiter had many identities - but his most famous was "Clark Rockefeller,” a black sheep relative from the iconic American family. For over 20 years, he duped rich people from coast to coast to share in their privilege and their money. But in 2008, he finally got caught in his web of deceit. Investigators would soon realize that his dirty crimes not only included impersonations but were much darker than anyone ever imagined.

57 mins

The Twins Who Brought Down Drug Lord El Chapo

Journalist Charlie Webster joins the show to talk about season 2 of the podcast series, Surviving El Chapo, which tells the story of idenitical twins in Chicago who ran a $2 billion drug trafficking empire, only to switch sides and become government informants. The Flores twins grew their business to the biggest in North American then decided to risking everthing, turning on their boss Mexican drug lord El Chapo.

46 mins

How a Master Thief Stole $2 Billion Worth of Art With Nothing But a Pocketknife

Stéphane Breitwieser is perhaps the most prolific art thief who ever lived. From 1994 to 2001, he and his girlfriend/accomplice Anne-Catherine Kleinklaus tore through Europe on a breathtaking crime spree, armed with only a Swiss Army knife. They did this every three weekends out of four, stealing priceless works of art from museums, galleries, and auction houses. Eventually, he amassed a collection that totaled more than 300 works of stolen worth about $2 billion. But here’s the weird part: He never stole all this art to make a profit. He kept all of his stolen treasures in a pair of secret rooms where he could admire them. And if it weren’t for one stupid slip-up, he’d probably still be stealing art today. Our guest, Michael Finkel, has written a book about Breitwieser called The Art Thief: A True Story of Love, Crime, and a Dangerous Obsession, which he wrote after conducting a series of interviews with the sticky-fingered Frenchman. Listen in to learn how he pulled off these scams in broad daylight without raising a ruckus, or even his voice.

29 mins

"Baby Al Capone" Pulls Off a $24 Million Crypto Heist

Have you ever heard of something called SIM-swapping? It sounds like something that would happen late at night at a 1970s party in the suburbs, but it is much dirtier than that. On this week's episode, we examine the intricacies of what a SIM-swapping phone hack is and how the method was used to spearhead a $24 million dollar crypto heist. Based on an incredible story reported by Margi Murphy and Drake Bennett for Businessweek we tell the tale of Michael Terpin, who after literally watching his crypto millions disappear before his eyes, launched a tireless campaign to find and punish the criminals who did it. The twists and turns of this story will leave your head spinning, and make you think about ditching your smartphone for a flip phone. Or better yet, a landline. And a word to the wise? Never get in business with someone nicknamed "Baby Al Capone." Also, if you are in a crypto crime syndicate called Community? Your fellow criminals might be your worst enemies.

50 mins

Why Do We Let Ourselves Get Scammed?

Psychologist Christopher Chabris joins the show and describes the habits and behaviors that make the majority of us positive members of society — and also susceptible to attack from criminals. From phishing scams to Ponzi schemes, fraudulent science to crypto hucksters, Chabris, along with his co-author Daniel Simons (Nobody’s Fool) have studied the science of deception and provide practical tools you can use to spot schemes before it’s too late. It is easy to sit back and think “That would never happen to me,” but as Chabris explains, these fraudsters are experts at finding weaknesses and exploiting them. He provides a checklist of red flags to help you decipher phony financial opportunities from real ones. This is an episode you do not want to miss!

36 mins

A Gold Coin Business Run by Married Couple Turns Deadly

Jim and Pamela Fayed seemed to have it all—two beautiful daughters, a sprawling horse ranch in California, and a gold exchange business that raked in millions every year. But all that glitters is not gold. The Fayeds also harbored a deep secret that would destroy both their lives. This is the tragic story of a family business gone horribly wrong

51 mins

She Lost Over $250,000 In a Crypto Scheme, Now She's Fighting Back

Guest Jen McAdam, a Scottish coal miner's daughter, was one of the countless victims of the insidious OneCoin global cryptocurrency scam. She invested her entire inheritance only to watch it disappear. Jen was the first victim to fight back and successfully mustered thousands of victims from around the world to join her. She’s written a book on the experience called DEVIL’S COIN: My Battle to Take Down the Notorious OneCoin Cryptoqueen, and she works fulltime through her online Victims’ Support Group to fight for retribution.

34 mins

The Art Thief Who Fell in Love With His Biggest Score

Adam Worth was the Victorian Era’s most infamous thief. He was so sneaky, so devious and so damn good at his job that he became Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s inspiration for Dr. Moriarity, arch-nemesis of Sherlock Holmes. Worth’s exploits earned him the nickname “The Napoleon of Crime,” a nod to his ceaseless drive to steal anything that wasn’t nailed to the floor. (And even if it was, he’d steal it anyway.) Worth and an array of ne’er-do-wells were as innovative as they were crooked, tunneling their way into bank vaults from adjacent building basements, setting up shape-shifting illegal gambling dens and slipping into new countries and identities when things got too hot. Worth was pursued across continents by the Pinkerton detective agency (which would one day become the Secret Service) and he cemented his status as one of the greatest thieves in history when he stole an incredibly famous painting of Georgiana Cavendish, The Duchess of Devonshire, right off the wall of a London gallery. Worth held onto the pilfered portrait for years, chauffeuring it around the world in the false bottom of a luggage trunk. Some say he was waiting for the right moment to sell it, others believe he fell in love with the Duchess’s beguiling image. So how did it end for the art thief and his prized score? Listen to the episode and if you like it (of course you will!) please leave our little show a big fat five-star rating and a review. Your comments might be featured in a future episode. Thanks as always for listening!

45 mins

Teens Busted for Breaking Into Homes of Hollywood Stars

Between October 2008 and August of 2009, thieves broke into the homes a number of young Hollywood stars, such as Paris Hilton, Lindsey Lohan, and Orlando Bloom, and stole more than $3 million in cash, jewelry, and high-end designer goods. But these weren’t your typical robbers. They were teenagers from the Valley. One was even the star of a reality show. This is the bizarre story of the Bling Ring and their dirty deeds.

44 mins

The Fake Heiress Who Scammed Andrew Carnegie

Take a whimsical journey with us back in time to the late 1800s and meet Elizabeth "Betty" Bigley, a con woman who stole millions of dollars from people, banks and anyone else she could sink her teeth into. As you will hear, she was tireless in her thievery and her brazen attempt to bilk money from her "dad" Andrew Carnegie is truly one for the record books. (Spoiler alert: He was not her dad and it did not work.) And speaking of books, on this episode we're joined by true crime writer Railey Jane Savage, who details the misadventures of Bigley and many other huxters in her wonderful book "A Century of Swindles: Ponzi Schemes, Con Men & Fraudsters." Thanks for listening and please do not commit the crime of not leaving us a review. The podcast police are watching!

42 mins

The Quack Who Got Rich Prescribing Goat Testicles

 In the early 1900s, a “doctor” named John Romulus Brinkley became rich and famous by offering a unique cure to men suffering from ED and an array of other maladies: he implanted goat testicles in them. You might guess that not too many guys would be willing to go under the knife for that, but you’d be wrong. For decades Brinkley was backing up the money truck to his clinics that operated all around the country. Eventually, however, scrutiny from the medical community and a mountain of malpractice lawsuits left the millionaire discredited and penniless, with presumably a lot of unused goat balls. On this episode, we speak with Brinkley historian Pope Brock, who wrote a terrific book about the crazy goings-on called "Charlatan: America's Most Dangerous Huckster, the Man Who Pursued Him, and the Age of Flimflam." Truth is stranger than fiction is a bit of a cliche, but damn if it isn't appropriate in this case.

43 mins

Pharma Bro Martin Shkreli: 'The Most Hated Man in America'

Remember Martin Shrkeli? He was the so-called “Pharma Bro” who raised the price of an anti-viral drug for AIDS patients from $13.50 to $750 a pill. His arrogance and lack of empathy came to embody all that was wrong with the unregulated drug market. But not much is known about Skreli beyond the media hype. Where did he come from, what were his motives, what happend to him, and where is he now? We take a deep dive into the man once dubbed “the most hated man in America.”

34 mins

Chicago's Money-Hungry Stock Scammers

In the 1980s, Chicago’s trading floor was packed with loud-mouth tough guys, mountains of cocaine and a whole lot of money. Those ingredients added up to one of the biggest — and most expensive — undercover FBI investigations in history. On this episode of ‘Dirty Money’ hosts Dan Bova and Jon Small welcome guest Anjay Nagpal, who investigated the federal investigation on his hit true-crime podcast 'Brokers, Bagmen & Moles.' During the talk, Nagpal shares insights into how the Chicago sausage was made when it comes to financial crime and gives a peek behind the curtain of what it is like to interview people who may or may not have killed for fun and profit. Did the Feds take down a massive criminal empire, or was it all just a waste of taxpayers’ money? Did Nagpal tell Dan and Jon the ending of his multi-part podcast series? Listen and find out!

33 mins

The Crazy True Story of the 'Goodfellas' Lufthansa Heist

On December 11, 1978, six armed robbers broke into JFK Airport's Lufthansa Airlines cargo terminal at 3 o'clock in the morning. A little over an hour later, they walked out with $5 million in untraceable bills (worth $22.4 million today ) and $800,000 in jewels (worth $3.6 million today.) At the time, it was the largest heist in U.S. history. And here's the really crazy part: Not a shot was fired and nobody was killed or seriously hurt (during the heist, at least.) If this sounds familiar, it's because it was dramatized in Martin Scorsese's 1990 film 'Goodfellas,' based on Nicholas Pilleggi's 1985 book 'Wiseguys' about mid-level crooks in the Lucchese crime family. The Lufthansa heist was a pivotal moment in the lives of a Queens, NY-based crew. Mobsters Henry Hill, Jimmy Burke and a bizarre group of degenerate gamblers, bookies, wig salesmen and guys with nicknames like Louis Roast Beef all somehow pulled off this incredible scheme...and then almost immediately start killing each other. On this episode of Dirty Money, hosts Dan Bova and Jon Small discuss the crime and its fallout, and what the Goodfellas version got right and what it got wrong. (And by wrong, we mean "slightly unfactual" because it is the greatest movie ever made and by extension, can do no wrong.)

35 mins

Who Was Charles Ponzi? The Man Behind Original Scheme.

We’ve all heard of Ponzi schemes, but who was the guy they were named after? This is the amazing story of the original swindler Charles Ponzi, a dapper, five-foot-two Italian immigrant who in 1920 raked in an estimated $15 million (now $225 million) in less that year. Ponzi lured over 20,000 Bostonians to invest in his securities with promises of 50 percent profits in 45 days. Back in the day, he was a hero of people—until a newspaper brought him and his now infamous scheme crashing down.

45 mins

The Man Who Looted $100 Million From His Own Company

If you’re looking for the poster boy of corporate greed, look no further than Dennis Kozlowski, the former CEO of Tyco who took excess to a whole new level. In 2005, he was arrested and served six and a half years in prison for looting nearly $100 million from his company. Records revealed that he secretly loaned tens of millions of dollars of corporate funds to executives, and forgave those loans to win their loyalty. Without board approval, he doled out millions in bonuses and used company money to buy a $16.8 million apartment in New York City. He repeatedly dipped into Tyco’s til to cover his personal $80,000 American Express bill and luxury oddities including a $17,100 traveling toilet box, a $15,000 dog umbrella stand and a $6,000 shower curtain. On this episode, hosts Jon Small and Dan Bova speak with Catherine S. Neal, Associate Professor of Business Ethics and Business Law at Northern Kentucky University and author of "Taking Down the Lion: The Triumphant Rise and Tragic Fall of Tyco's Dennis Kozlowski" to get to the bottom of his greed (if there is a bottom.) Thanks for listening, be sure to subscribe and throw us a rating!

46 mins

How a Fake Heiress Scammed the New York's Fabulous Art Scene

The true story of Anna Delvey, the real-life swindler from Netflix's 'Inventing Anna.'

29 mins

How a Psychic Scammer Bilked Her Clients Out of Millions

This is the story of Rose Marks, a fortuneteller who devised an elaborate scheme to steal millions from her desperate clients. Guest Tori Tefler chronicled Marks’ crimes and other dastardly deeds of female criminals in her book Confident Women. Dan and Jon take a deep dive into this story of psychic swindling and find out why female grifters can be so persuasive.

35 mins

Crazy Eddie's Crimes Were Insaaaane

Retail Gangster' author Gary Weiss closes the circuit on a crooked discount electronics empire.

42 mins

The Hollywood Con Queen

Journalist Josh Dean joins the show to explain the baffling and exhausting scheme that bilked movie crew members out of millions.

33 mins

The Boy Band Bandit Lou Pearlman

The Hit Charade' author Tyler Gray sings us a song about the Backstreet Boys and NSYNC super producer who was also a super scammer.

31 mins

Crypto Crook Sam Bankman-Fried

Wondering WTF happened with FTX? Entrepreneur's own Sam Silverman breaks it down.

56 mins

Dirty Money Trailer

Dirty Money is a new white-collar crime podcast series from Entrepreneur Media. Each episode features the filthy tales of legendary scammers, con artists, and money-hungry crooks who stop at nothing to bilk their marks of millions. Hosted by Entrepreneur editors Dan Bova and Jon Small, the podcast takes a deep dive into the minds behind the crimes. Subjects include: Lou Pearlman (Backstreet Boys, N Sync) Eddie Antar (Crazy Eddie) The Hollywood Con Queen Dennis Kozlowski (Tyco Industries) Super Mario (Greek shipping tycoon) …and more. Subscribe now and catch new episodes every other Thursday starting January 19, 2023.