Share this entry

Share this page

Ponzi scheme

Line breaks: Ponzi scheme
Pronunciation: /ˈpɒnzi
 
/

Definition of Ponzi scheme in English:

noun

A form of fraud in which belief in the success of a non-existent enterprise is fostered by the payment of quick returns to the first investors from money invested by later investors: a classic Ponzi scheme built on treachery and lies
More example sentences
  • When such ventures are attempted in the private sector, they go by the name of pyramid or Ponzi schemes and constitute criminal fraud.
  • These returns were actually generated from the principal of members who joined later - a classic Ponzi scheme which uses new money to pay off old ‘profits’.
  • It's a bit like a Ponzi scheme, where initial investors are paid off with money from subsequent investors to make it appear that the investment is a success and drum up more investors by word of mouth.

Origin

named after Charles Ponzi (died 1949), who carried out such a fraud (1919–20).

Definition of Ponzi scheme in:

Share this entry

Share this page

 

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove ads and access premium resources

Word of the day Sprachgefühl
Pronunciation: ˈSHpräkɡəˌf(y)o͞ol
noun
intuitive understanding of a language’s natural idiom…