Memorial Hall Library

Scams, Cons, and Other Year-Round April Fools

This April 1st, brace yourself for the onslaught of pranks by reading up on some famous scammers and con artists! Whether you're a true crime aficionado or just looking to make sure you don't get scammed yourself, there are plenty of great books to check out. Don't worry, you can trust us...we're librarians.


	Bad blood : secrets and lies in a Silicon Valley startup
Bad blood : secrets and lies in a Silicon Valley startup
by John Carreyrou

The full inside story of the breathtaking rise and shocking collapse of Theranos--the Enron of Silicon Valley--by the prize-winning journalist who first broke the story and pursued it to the end in the face of pressure and threats from the CEO and her lawyers. In 2014, Theranos founder and CEO Elizabeth Holmes was widely seen as the female Steve Jobs: a brilliant Stanford dropout whose startup "unicorn" promised to revolutionize the medical industry with a machine that would make blood tests significantly faster and easier. Backed by investors such as Larry Ellison and Tim Draper, Theranos sold shares in an early fundraising round that valued the company at $9 billion, putting Holmes's worth at an estimated $4.7 billion. There was just one problem: the technology didn't work. Here is the riveting story of the biggest corporate fraud since Enron, a disturbing cautionary tale set amid the bold promises and gold-rush frenzy of Silicon Valley.

	The confidence game : why we fall for it... every time
The confidence game : why we fall for it... every time
by Maria Konnikova

The best-selling author of Mastermind explores the psyches, motives and methods of con artists to reveal why they are consistently successful, identifying common hallmarks of cons to share additional insights into the relationship between artists and victims.

	King Con : the bizarre adventures of the Jazz Age's greatest imposter
King Con : the bizarre adventures of the Jazz Age's greatest imposter
by Paul Willetts

A portrait of charismatic vaudeville performer and 1920s con artist Edgar LaPlante describes how he amassed millions through a fraudulent charity, his seduction of a wealthy Austrian countess and his friendships with celebrities and powerful world leaders.

	The mark inside : a perfect swindle, a cunning revenge, and a small history of the big con
The mark inside : a perfect swindle, a cunning revenge, and a small history of the big con
by Amy Reading

A narrative history of con artistry in America documents the early 20th-century efforts of J. Frank Norfleet to track down a gang of confidence men who swindled him out of everything he had, in an account that places con artistry in America against a backdrop of the nation's culture.

	The Bling Ring : how a gang of fame-obsessed teens ripped off Hollywood and shocked the world
The Bling Ring : how a gang of fame-obsessed teens ripped off Hollywood and shocked the world
by Nancy Jo Sales

Published to coincide with the 2013 film The Bling Ring directed by Sofia Coppola and starring Emma Watson, this true crime novel introduces the club-hopping LA teenagers accused of stealing more than $3 million in clothing and jewelry from the likes of Paris Hilton and Orlando Bloom. 

	Empire of deception : the incredible story of a master swindler who seduced a city and captivated a nation,
Empire of deception : the incredible story of a master swindler who seduced a city and captivated a nation,
by Dean Jobb

Documents the multimillion-dollar Ponzi scheme of charismatic lawyer Leo Koretz in Roaring Twenties Chicago, the subsequent international manhunt by an ambitious state's attorney and Leo's mysterious death in prison.

	Catch me if you can
Catch me if you can
by Frank W. Abagnale

An ex-confidence man and master impostor recounts his crimes, capture, imprisonment, and current career as a highly paid crime consultant.

	The wizard of lies : Bernie Madoff and the death of trust
The wizard of lies : Bernie Madoff and the death of trust
by Diana B. Henriques

Examines the life, career, and notorious multi-billion dollar Ponzi scheme of the formerly prominent New York financier, as well as the tragic consequences of his criminal activity

	In vino duplicitas : the rise and fall of a wine forger extraordinaire
In vino duplicitas : the rise and fall of a wine forger extraordinaire
by Peter Hellman

In a shocking true crime story, a con man, blessed with the gift of a discerning palate and a knack for tracking down impossibly hard-to-find bottles, reigns as a purveyor of the last century’s most storied vintages until the truth comes out and his world comes spectacularly crashing down.

	The map thief : the gripping story of an esteemed rare-map dealer who made millions stealing priceless maps
The map thief : the gripping story of an esteemed rare-map dealer who made millions stealing priceless maps
by Michael Blanding

Draws on exclusive interviews with confessed rare-map thief E. Forbes Smiley to document his high-stakes experiences with mercenary explorers and mapmakers, offering insight into the cutthroat map trade while investigating allegations of hundreds of additional thefts.

	My adventures with your money : George Graham Rice and the golden age of the con artist
My adventures with your money : George Graham Rice and the golden age of the con artist
by T. D Thornton

A portrait of the early 20th-century con man traces his life against a backdrop of period greed, detailing his fictitious investment opportunities and role in sparking riots in Manhattan's financial district through elaborate "bucket shop" hoaxes. 

	The dinosaur artist : obsession, betrayal, and the quest for Earth's ultimate trophy
The dinosaur artist : obsession, betrayal, and the quest for Earth's ultimate trophy
by Paige Williams

A New Yorker staff writer analyzes the perilous world of the international fossil trade through the story of one man's devastating effort to sell a Gobi Desert dinosaur skeleton from a nation that forbids natural-history trafficking.
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