Ponzi Scheme

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A Ponzi Scheme is an investment scheme which works like the children's game musical chairs does. The scheme goes on and grows, with the thieves taking in more and more money, using some of the new proceeds to pay off earlier investors. The moment that new suckers are not brought into the scheme, there is insufficient money to pay out previous investors seeking the promised return, and the people who have not been paid out either lose everything, or, if law enforcement and regulators catch the scheme in time, they get back a portion of their investment.