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“Nothing was as it seemed in Leo Koretz’s make-believe world of mysterious syndicates and Panamanian oil fields. Accounts written long after his death added fresh layers of myth and distortion, but I was determined to learn the truth about a larger-than-life figure who rarely, if ever, told the truth. The real story of the man who pioneered and mastered the Ponzi scheme, is so gripping – and, at times, so incredible – that it needs no embellishment. And it’s a story woven into the fabric of the corrupt politics and gang warfare that plagued Chicago in the 1920s.”
Dean Jobb, Empire of Deception: The Incredible Story of a Master Swindler Who Seduced a City and Captivated the Nation
“Con men need a battery of traits to win their victims’ trust and lighten their wallets. Chicago’s Leo Koretz had them all. They must be good actors and Leo, acting the part of a savvy financier who hobnobbed with a mysterious syndicate of millionaires, delivered a magnificent performance. They must be likeable, and everyone liked and trusted the generous, wisecracking, charming Leo. He could have been a top-flight lawyer, a business leader, or perhaps a powerful politician. He chose, instead, to become a master of promoting phony stocks.”
Dean Jobb, Empire of Deception: The Incredible Story of a Master Swindler Who Seduced a City and Captivated the Nation
“There is something quintessentially American about the confidence man, who reinvents himself to each new victim in the same way that America’s early settlers reinvented themselves in a new land .... America was built on dreams and promises, and dreams and promises are what a con man sells.”
Dean Jobb, Empire of Deception: The Incredible Story of a Master Swindler Who Seduced a City and Captivated the Nation
“Leo Koretz, the Bernie Madoff of the Roaring Twenties, operated his swindle for far longer and with more panache than his contemporary, Charles Ponzi. He was a better actor, a more adept liar, a shrewder salesman. He kept his scam alive – and his investors none the wiser – for almost two decades …. In terms of the scale of their frauds, staying power and sheer audacity, Leo Koretz and Bernie Madoff stand apart in the pantheon of pyramid-building swindlers.”
Dean Jobb, Empire of Deception: The Incredible Story of a Master Swindler Who Seduced a City and Captivated the Nation


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Dean Jobb
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Empire of Deception: The Incredible Story of a Master Swindler Who Seduced a City and Captivated the Nation Empire of Deception
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The Cajuns: A People's Story of Exile and Triumph The Cajuns
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Crime Wave: Con Men, Rogues and Scoundrels from Nova Scotia's Past Crime Wave
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