Empire of Deception: From Chicago to Nova Scotia--The Incredible Story of a Master Swindler Who Seduced a City and Captivated the Nation

  • Title: Empire of Deception: From Chicago to Nova Scotia--The Incredible Story of a Master Swindler Who Seduced a City and Captivated the Nation
  • Author: Dean Jobb
  • ISBN: null
  • Page: 388
  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • Empire of Deception From Chicago to Nova Scotia The Incredible Story of a Master Swindler Who Seduced a City and Captivated the Nation In the tradition of bestselling books like The Devil in the White City and The Man in the Rockefeller Suit Empire of Deception combines investigative journalism and captivating storytelling to examin
    In the tradition of bestselling books like The Devil in the White City and The Man in the Rockefeller Suit, Empire of Deception combines investigative journalism and captivating storytelling to examine one of the greatest con men of the twentieth century It was a time of unregulated madness And nowhere was it mad than in Chicago at the dawn of the Roaring Twenties.In the tradition of bestselling books like The Devil in the White City and The Man in the Rockefeller Suit, Empire of Deception combines investigative journalism and captivating storytelling to examine one of the greatest con men of the twentieth centuryIt was a time of unregulated madness And nowhere was it mad than in Chicago at the dawn of the Roaring Twenties Speakeasies thrived, gang war shootings announced Al Capone s rise to underworld domination, Chicago s corrupt political leaders fraternized with gangsters and the frenzy of stock market gambling was rampant Enter a slick, smooth talking, charismatic lawyer named Leo Koretz, who enticed hundreds of people to invest as much as 30 million upwards of 400 million today in phantom timberland and non existent oil wells in Panama When Leo s scheme finally collapsed in 1923, he vanished, and the Chicago state s attorney, a man whose lust for power equalled Leo s own lust for money, began an international manhunt that lasted almost a year When finally apprehended, Leo was living a life of luxury in Nova Scotia under the assumed identity of a book dealer and literary critic His mysterious death in a Chicago prison topped anything in his almost too bizarre to believe life.Empire of Deception is not only an incredibly rich and detailed account of a man and an era it is a fascinating look at the methods of swindlers throughout history Leo Koretz was the Bernie Madoff of his day, and Dean Jobb shows us that the dream of easy wealth is a timeless commodity.

    • Free Read [Paranormal Book] ↠ Empire of Deception: From Chicago to Nova Scotia--The Incredible Story of a Master Swindler Who Seduced a City and Captivated the Nation - by Dean Jobb ↠
      388 Dean Jobb
    • thumbnail Title: Free Read [Paranormal Book] ↠ Empire of Deception: From Chicago to Nova Scotia--The Incredible Story of a Master Swindler Who Seduced a City and Captivated the Nation - by Dean Jobb ↠
      Posted by:Dean Jobb
      Published :2019-02-06T16:59:13+00:00

    About Dean Jobb


    1. I m drawn to fascinating people and events that have been overlooked or forgotten hidden gems tucked away in the attics of history, stories waiting to be told Ideas and inspiration can come from a footnote in a book, a museum exhibit or a reference in the news I discovered the subject of my latest book, Empire of Deception Leo Koretz and his amazing oil swindle in 1920s Chicago while doing research on another subject I spotted a reference to his arrest in Nova Scotia and I knew instantly it was a great story My previous books include The Cajuns A People s Story of Exile and Triumph, which chronicles the expulsion of French speaking Acadians from Eastern Canada than two centuries ago and the founding of Louisiana s Cajun culture Calculated Risk is an investigation into a 1992 explosion that killed twenty six Nova Scotia coal miners and led to sweeping reforms to workplace safety laws I was a reporter, editor and columnist with Halifax s leading newspaper, the Chronicle Herald, for 20 years and I write for major newspapers and magazines in Canada and the U.S I have been a journalism professor at the University of King s College in Halifax since 2004.


    487 Comments


    1. My sincere thanks to Netgalley for providing the e-galley of Empire of Deception: The Incredible Story of a Master Swindler Who Seduced a City and Captivated the Nation due to be published May 19, 2015 by Algonquin Books/“Something for Nothing.” “Nothing for Something.” There is something seductive about that quote which fits Empire of Deception to a tee. Con, sting, fraud, double-cross, swindle, scheme, cheat, deception, no matter the word you use to describe the crime, Leo Koretz is a [...]

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    2. My review here originally appeared in The Washington Post. The first chapter of Dean Jobb’s comprehensively researched and enthralling account of the life, times and crimes of Leo Koretz begins in June 1922 at Chicago’s posh Drake Hotel. An elegant banquet celebrates “Oil King” Koretz, the “New Rockefeller” whose Bayano Syndicate, a timber business turned oil empire, has made many of his friends and associates filthy rich. A “fine vellum” booklet at each place setting offers a sa [...]

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    3. This is another colorful story from the history of a city whose history is as colorful as a 4th of July fireworks show. The story is about the Bernie Madoff of Roaring Twenties Chicago, Leo Koretz. While I am a life long resident of the Chicago area and a devotee of Chicago history I must admit never having heard of this story before reading this book. The fact that the scandal was about greedy rich people being bilked and the scandal breaking shortly before the infamous Leopold and Loeb murder [...]

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    4. I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Author Karen Abbott states it's " A rollicking tale that is one part 'The Sting', one part 'The Great Gatsby', and one part 'The Devil in the White City', and that is an accurate description of this tale.Though the book reads like a fictional novel, it is about the true story of a man named Leo Koretz. He was a man who swindled millions of dollars from family, friends, and business associates in Chicago in the 1920's, about 80 years before Bernie Madoff did it. As [...]

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    5. I found EMPIRE OF DECEPTION so incredibly fascinating I really couldn’t put it down (I did have to because of work, stupid work). Jobb wrote it in such a captivating way that it sucked me right in and held me with this almost ridiculous story of a non-Ponzi Ponzi who made Ponzi look like a Girl Scout.Creating his scheme years before Ponzi ever did, and continuing years after he was caught, Leo Koretz effectively wrote the book on corruption and deception. Not only did he scheme people through [...]

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    6. I recently received Dean Jobb's Empire of Deception: The Incredible Story of a Master Swindler Who Seduced a City and Captivated the Nation for free through First Reads. I was looking forward to this true story of Chicago, and corruption in the 1920's!This book surprised me in every way, and it was an excellent read. I loved the author's very detailed descriptions of every nuance of Chicago in the 20's. I enjoyed the comparison of an obscure con man, and the law. This book appealed to my love o [...]

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    7. I won this book in a giveaway. Thanks Algonquin and ! I found the book "Empire of Deception" an amazing read. Author, Dean Jobb, painted a telling portrait of the life of swindler Leo koretz in the roaring 1920's of Chicago, a time of prohibition, the mob and political corruption. A well researched narrative and captivating storyline about a man comparable to the likes of Ponzi and Madoff. Recommend it to anyone who likes a great true story.

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    8. I have never read (actually listened to the audio book) a book and shook my head so often. Definitely a story of deception and thievery. The fact that it really happened makes it even more incredible. I kept saying "You can't make up this stuff" or "truth is stranger than fiction."

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    9. Engaging and well-researched. Reads like a narrative, but is high interest non fiction. Great story of the man who out-Ponzied Charles Ponzi.

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    10. Grabbed the ARC from this at ALA Midwinter. An intriguing story ably presented.

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    11. 3.5 stars for this one. Very interesting story of a guy who pulled off (for a while) an amazing Ponzi scheme in Chicago in the 1920's. True story and it reminded me of a scaled down Erik Larson book. The story was very good and well researched. I would have liked maybe more "color" about the timesere was some, for sure, but it is such a fascinating period that there could have been more. Overall, a great read though.

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    12. A very interesting examination of a major financial fraud that has been all but forgotten. Very interesting parallels developed as well with the Bernie Madoff fraud.

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    13. Today's post is on Empire of Deception: The Incredible Story of a Master Swindler Who Seduced a City and Captivated the Nation by Dean Jobb. It is 336 pages long including notes and index. It is published by Algonquin Books. The cover has Chicago skyline on bottom with a picture of the people in the high life on top. The intended reader is someone who likes history, true crime, and interesting stories. There is no sex, no language, and no violence in this book. The story is told in third person [...]

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    14. This book needs to be made into a movie! I first heard about Empire of Deception when I read a review of it in our local paper as the story has ties to Nova Scotia. When I read the description, I knew I had to read the book! Empire of Deception is about a man name Leo Koretz from Chicago in the 1920s. Over a period of 20 years, Leo creates a scheme where friends, family members and associates invest over $2 million with him for stocks in rice fields in the mid west, and then land/oil in Panama. [...]

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    15. I won an ARC from .This was quite a fast-paced read, separated into three acts: the setup and enactment of the swindle, the unraveling of the scheme and the instigator's escape, and then how we was caught and the aftermath. I'd actually never heard of Leo Koretz before, a contemporary of Ponzi, and the author insists that if Koretz's scheme hadn't lasted a long as it did, they wouldn't be "Ponzi schemes" but "Koretz schemes." Having lived in Chicago, I very much enjoyed all the descriptions of 1 [...]

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    16. Before Bernie Madoff, (before Charles Ponzi, really) Leo Koretz bilked family, friends and acquaintances out of millions of dollars. This book is a fascinating read about an unassuming man who charmed the life savings out of people in Chicago during the 1920s. Starting with fictitious rice farms in Arkansas and expanding into a non-existent timber plantation in Panama, Leo fooled investors for over 15 years. When it all came crashing down, he went on the lam to evade capture. This is a well-told [...]

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    17. This is a great book, reminiscent of Larson’s The Devil in the White City and Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby. We all know the story of Charles Ponzi and how his name lives on to this day for a fraudulent investment scheme where "the operator pays returns to its investors from new capital paid to the operator by new investors, rather than from profit earned by the operator." Well, Ponzi played his swindle for about a year before got caught.The protagonist of this story, Leo Koretz, operated a [...]

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    18. This book features a larger-than-life character that is wonderfully rendered by Jobb. In lesser hands, this swindler might have been a caricature, but here he is a living, breathing, sometimes despicable human. Nicely researched, well paced. Chicago is as much a character as any of the players and its nice to see. Comparisons to Erik Larson are inevitable but I think that is mostly the setting. While Larson hit a home run with "Devil in the White City," he has since overworked his two-story coun [...]

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    19. Empire of Deception is a fascinating and well researched book about Leo Koretz, a swindler of the 1920s in Chicago who's been eclipsed by others like Ponzi. Jobb's book has a strong narrative as he parallels Koretz's life with Robert Crowe, the attorney who took him down and was connected to the corruption of Chicago politics. As someone who enjoys reading true crime and history tied to a specific time and place, this was a great read.There are mentions of the horrible violence of the gang wars [...]

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    20. A most entertaining and highly absorbing account of Leo Koretz's life and times. Dean John's completely captures you from the first page to the very last page. The historical and amazing biography of this deceitful and diabolical crook is told so beautifully with just the right portrayal and so very mesmerizing facts. I would highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys history with the drama of this man's life.Fabulous story and absorbing account of one of history's biggest swindlers. I reco [...]

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    21. This was a great book, in my opinion. Very well researched, and written. It is fast paced, and yet leaves nothing out. So many parallels with Madoff and other Con Men. I love the common theme they all have in common. They do not prey on the poor, instead they prey on the greed of the rich. Those who want something for nothing, and the desire to keep all things secret. There is a pattern and is a really good cautionary tale for people and young adults to learn from.

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    22. Very interesting and well written. Real stories, when well written, can be more interesting than fiction. This book is written in much the same style as Erik Larson. You get a real sense of the era and the people, especially the ultra-wealthy. Leo Koretz is fascinating. It's hard to imagine someone that cool and emotionless. A real role model for Bernie Maddoff!

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    23. This fascinating books was thoroughly researched and is well written. The author provides a detailed portrait of prohibition-era Chicago and the colorful characters that attempted to get rich and/or keep order in it. Read Empire of Deception and try to determine what has changed and what remains the same.

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    24. After Ponzi and well before Madoff there was Leo Koretz, the master swindler from Chicago with a Canadian connection. This book takes you through his life and ultimately is demise and death in Joliet prison. He was caught in Nova Scotia.A good read.

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    25. This is a fast moving retelling of the two decade con game played by the man who should still have outshone Charles Ponzi in terms of audacity of the crime. Jobb does a fine job telling the story and laying bare the human cost of this despicable figure.

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    26. - interesting, true, 'Bernie Madoff' type character who was actually a greater con man than the more famous 'Ponzi'- occurs in 1920's era Chicago, with South American Oil discoveries, and a Canadian component- smoothly written

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    27. This was a fascinating story about a guy whose antics about 100 years surpassed Bernie Madoff in cheating people out of their money. I never hears of Leo Koretz before this. The author did an excellent job of researching this material and then creating a great book.

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    28. Really well done and researched; compelling and captivating; reads more like a narrative than non-fiction. The audio was well done also.

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    29. Loved it! If you enjoyed The Devil in the White City this is a must read for you.

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    30. A gripping story about the best known con man you've never heard of. Leo Koretz aka Lou Keyte swindled dozens of family members and close friends out of thousands of dollars (translating to millions of dollars today) in the early 1920's in Chicago, selling them worthless stock in worthless land in Panama and living an extravagant, Gatsby-like life on the proceeds. As the scheme began to collapse he fled to New York, changed his name and disguised his appearance, and eventually ended up in Halifa [...]

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