I love any story about a con artist. From the most grand, slick schemes and cons, to small clumsy ones, I’ve always been fascinated by it. Partially, it’s the psychology of the whole interaction. What kind of person would do this? What kind of people fall victim to such schemes and cons? It all holds a great deal of fascination for me.
There are a few recent acquisitions in our collection that are about cons, and if you like everything from art heists to Ponzi schemes, take a look at these titles! (And be careful out there! Remember what they say, “you can’t con an honest person!”)
The Art of the Con: The Most Notorious Fakes, Frauds, and Forgeries in the Art World
By Anthony M Amore
Head of security at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum presents eleven cases of art fraud. Discusses the individuals involved, their motives, the methods used to perpetuate the fraud, and the ways the crimes were uncovered. 2015.
Empire of Deception: The Incredible Story of a Master Swindler Who Seduced a City and Captivated a Nation
By Dean Jobb
Journalist recounts how, in 1920s Chicago, lawyer Leo Koretz enticed hundreds of people to invest $30 million (the equivalent of $400 million in the 2010s) in phantom timberland and nonexistent oil wells. Koretz vanished in 1923 when his scheme finally collapsed, but he was later found and sent to prison. 2015.