Bernard Madoff’s Ponzi scheme cost 16,500 investors a total of as much as $18 billion, according to the court-appointed trustee, but at least Madoff is not on death row.
In Hangzhou, China, in November, Ji Wenhua and his brother and their father — who were managers of the Yintai Real Estate and Investment Group — were sentenced to death after their convictions for cheating 15,000 investors out of the equivalent of $1.1 billion.
Prosecutors said the men had continued to collect money by claiming profits while losses mounted.
Among the high-end items catching consumers’ fancy last holiday season was premium firewood, for those who need to burn trees for reasons beyond merely warming the house.
“Pretty white birch logs” were a best-selling item for Paul’s Fireplace Wood of Little Falls, Minn., and the owner of J.N. Firewood (Fort Ripley, Minn.) touted its “really cool blue flame and crackling noises,” according to a December Wall Street Journal report.
The wood itself goes for well over $1 a pound, even before adding the substantial shipping cost.
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