A private citizen decided to play government. He thought he could sell what would materialize from future profits. In government, such an action would be called “exciting.” In the private sector, it is a Ponzi scheme.

The gentleman apparently set up a company where he sold something on a par with Brooklyn Bridges. Investors received dividends from income collected from other purchasers. To punish him, the federal government seized his assets as ill-gotten gain. That meant it acquired a bunch of fake paperwork.

This did nothing to satisfy the people who had paid into the scheme and now had nothing to show for it, except what could be gathered after auction and attorney fees. So, in an appeal, a US judge ruled the seizures were “misguided.” The defendant must now give up some of his actual real estate.

As an aside, the perp was faulted for commingling his ill-gotten gain with legitimate income. So, be warned. If you’re out there committing fraud, you should keep a separate account for criminal activities – maybe they’re deductible.