Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Charles Ponzi - The Jamaica Plain Connection


The following is part of a larger article from the Boston Globe. I'll assume the reader is familiar with the name Charles Ponzi and the eponymous investment scam, so I'm posting just the Jamaica Plain content of a larger article. I think it's fair to say that ice cream was the last thing the Italian Children's Home ever saw from Mr Ponzi. Within two weeks of the fund-raiser described below he was under arrest.


Boston Daily Globe August 1, 1920


Ponzi Won't Reveal His Method At Present

Promises to Give $100,000 to Italian Children's Home


[excerpt]


Charles Ponzi, standing on the steps of the Italian Children's Home at Jamaica Plain yesterday afternoon, told Rev Fr Pasqule Di Milla, one of the directors, that he would subscribe $100,000 to the home as soon as he could arrange to meet the board of directors of the institution. He added that he would give the money in memory of the late Maria Gnecco of this city, Mrs Ponzi's mother.

The event which attracted Mr and Mrs Ponzi to the home was the field day of Ausonia Council, Knights of Columbus, held on the grounds in aid of the institution. Ponze spent his money freely at the various booths and supplied every woman and child with ice cream at his expense.

The affair in itself was a great success, to which the good work of the committee, headed by Felix Mrcell, GK, assisted by Paul Perotti, Rocco Leone, and members of Ausonia Council and ladies' Italian societies contributed largely.

The guests of honor included Rev Fr Anthony Sousa, Rev Fr Pasquale Di Milla, Rev Fr Daniels and Rev Fr Cosma.

Ponze left the grounds early in the evening and was given a rousing ovation as his limousine drew away.

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