The Art of the Scam: 5 Articles on Grifters

The game of the grift is to swindle others under false pretenses, and a number of grifters have recently been in the news, including Elizabeth Holmes, who raised hundreds of millions of dollars and graced the cover of Forbes before she was charged with fraud. Stories of grifters are intriguing, enraging and enduring. Here are some recent interesting articles on the subject.

You can read these articles using CPL's Online Resources, but I've noted if an article is available freely on the web.

"Maybe She Had So Much Money She Lost Track of It" by Jessica Pressler
New York, May, 28, 2018 (also available from The Cut website)
Check out The Cut's profile of Anna Sorokin, also know as Anna Delvey, a Russian woman who had a knack for making the right friends and being in the right places. Her impersonation of a socialite was so successful that she floated through elite New York society and was living large until she was convicted of grand larceny and other charges. She's currently serving time in Rikers, and Shonda Rhimes is developing a program about her riveting story for Netflix.

"How a Master Grifter Taught the FBI to Crack Open the Art of the Deal" by Christoper Dickey
The Daily Beast, October 29, 2017 (also available from The Daily Beast website)
The Daily Beast discusses the book Chasing Phil, about Phil Kitzer, a charming conman who managed not only to successfully swindle but also take in two undercover FBI agents.

"He Convinced People He Was a Rich 'Saudi Prince.' He Was Really a Poor Street Kid from Bogota" by Kyle Swenson
The Washington Post, May 30, 2018
Swenson recounts the story of Anthony Gignac, recently indicted in Miami, who spent years impersonating a member of the Saudi royal family and scamming unsuspecting victims out of millions.

"What Happened at Theranos Is a Dazzling Story of Deception" by Richard Cohen
The Chicago Tribune, June 27, 2018
Cohen explores the book Bad Blood and the meteoric rise of a Stanford dropout Elizabeth Holmes, who became the chief executive of a blood testing start-up, worth $10 billion at its height, that did not have a working product. 

"Why Do We Love Grifters? Because We Are Secretly Jealous of Them" by Helen Holmes
Observer, June 8, 2018 (also available from the Observer website)
Holmes asserts that we love grifter stories because we are secretly jealous of grifters' talent, lavish lifestyles and charisma.

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