a swindle in which a quick return, made up of money from new investors, on an initial investment lures the victim into much bigger risks.
Origin of Ponzi
after Charles Ponzi (died 1949), the organizer of such a scheme in the U.S., 1919–20
Also called Ponzi game, Ponzi scheme.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019
a fraudulent investment operation that pays quick returns to initial contributors using money from subsequent contributors rather than profit
Word Origin for Ponzi scheme
After Charles Ponzi, who famously perpetrated such a scheme in the United States of America in the early 20th century
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
investment scam by which early investors are paid off from the contributions of later ones, 1957, in reference to Charles Ponzi (1882-1949), who perpetrated such a scam in U.S., 1919-20.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper