I Did It, is the amazing true story of Gina Champion-Cain, the mastermind behind the largest woman-led Ponzi scheme in US history of over $350 million dollars.
The world is familiar with the most famous Ponzi Scheme which was run by Bernie Madoff. Madoff was a money manager responsible for one of the largest financial frauds in modern-day history. Now, we have Gina Champion- Cain and her scheme.
The authors, Barbara Bry and Neil Senturia live in San Diego, California and knew Champion- Cain for many years and did not suspect that she was running a Ponzi scheme.
Champion- Cain told her story to the authors, they also interviewed victims of the scam and others who knew Gina.
This real-life story includes a multitude of participants, banks, hedge funds, egomaniacs, and small-time crooks, all fueled by greed, stupidity, and a keen desire to look the other way. Even when they were looking in the right direction, all of these people and entities saw nothing. Gina was the Penn and Teller of misdirection, acting with caring behavior to other people (while bilking her investors), creating philanthropic endeavors and single-mindedly pursuing her dream of building an empire, taking it public, and cashing out all the investors.
In August 2019, Gina’s seven-year program of selling phony liquor license loans came to an end when the SEC, the US Attorney’s Office, and the FBI filed suit and shut it down. In San Diego, Gina, then fifty-four, was an icon. To the outside world, this beautiful, charismatic woman looked as if she had succeeded in a male-dominated good old boys club—building an empire that included real estate, restaurants, and retail; she was a guest economics commentator for the San Diego Union-Tribune; she served on prestigious corporate and nonprofit boards.
The City of San Diego even honored her with her own Gina Champion-Cain Day.But her life and her empire were a house of cards funded with money from massive financial fraud.
“It is true that Gina was the mastermind, but she was aided and abetted by bundlers, investors and a title company, in search of outsized returns, all desiring to never know how the sausage was really being made,” said Senturia.
Gina Champion -Cain plead guilty and was sentenced on March 31, 2021, when she admitted that she swindled more than $350 million from investors promising to use their money to make loans to business owners who were attempting to acquire California liquor licenses.
Champion-Cain and her co-conspirators instead used these funds from new investors to pay back others whose investments would soon be redeemed, and embezzled funds to support her other businesses and her lavish ‘celebrity ‘lifestyle.
Her sentence handed down by the courts was 15 years behind bars.
This book is a must-read as it details how Gina Champion-Cain masterminded this Ponzi scheme and how she was able to keep the ruse going for years before she was caught.
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