The World's Dumbest Fraudsters: Roundup Edition

BY JOSEPH T. WELLS

If you thought the 24-year prison sentence handed to former Enron CEO Jeffrey Skilling was severe, think again. A Chinese court has ordered Wang Zhendong to death for his role in a fraud case. Zhendong conned more than 10,000 investors out of $390 million by falsely convincing them that he had developed a secret method of growing giant ants. What someone would do with these creatures, if they actually existed, is unclear.


Ramona Tucker, of Greenville, S.C., just can’t seem to keep from helping herself. She faces 24 to 30 months in prison for embezzling money from her employer to pay restitution from two previous embezzlement convictions.

Masakazu Kamitanida, of Tokyo, picked the wrong location for his scam. He went to the top floor of a three-story apartment building and tried to pass himself off as a fellow resident who needed to borrow cash due to a death in the family. It didn’t take the authorities long to figure out what was going on; the fraudster had inadvertently picked a building that housed executives of the Tokyo police department.

—Joseph T. Wells, CPA, CFE, the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners

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