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Criminal couture: top 5 most stylish fraudsters in history

Darya SkubNews
Fraudsters who tried to deceive people by disguising themselves in stylish clothes.

When preparing for serious fraud, criminals think about how to avoid arousing suspicion. Given that they are after money, elite communities are often their target. So, fraudsters dress up, invent a convincing legend about themselves, and deceive the most naive.

Are you intrigued? Find out who became famous not only after high-profile scams but also thanks to their sophisticated taste in clothes in the OBOZ.UA article. And no, we do not admire their ways of getting rich.

1. Anna Sorokina

This is a Russian-born fraudster with German citizenship, also known by her pseudonym Anna Delvi. She presented herself as a wealthy German heiress, which allowed her to break into the wealthiest circles of society. She almost attracted millions in investment for her business plans but was exposed as a fraud. Sorokina used her impeccable taste in clothing to realize her plan. Her court appearances were covered by fashion magazines, and later Netflix produced the series Inventing Anna.

Criminal couture: top 5 most stylish fraudsters in history

2. Bugsy Siegel

Famous in the 1930s and 1940s, American gangster Bugsy Siegel was the first entrepreneur to actively invest in the Las Vegas Strip (a section of Las Vegas Boulevard known for its concentration of resort hotels and casinos). He is a gangster who is credited with turning Las Vegas into a place of gambling and leisure.

Bugsy was one of the first gangster celebrities to hit the headlines. He was written about as a handsome, charismatic and stylish man who always wore exquisite suits and interestingly combined seemingly incompatible prints. Siegel enjoyed living in luxury so much that he started stealing money from casino projects for his own needs. The investors did not like this, so they shot the fraudster in 1947.

Criminal couture: top 5 most stylish fraudsters in history

3. Elizabeth Holmes

In 2003, American entrepreneur Elizabeth Holmes founded Theranos, a company that quickly became popular. This medical center allegedly revolutionized blood testing by creating methods that required small amounts of blood, such as from a finger. In 2015, Forbes named Holmes the youngest and richest female billionaire in the United States based on her company's $9 billion valuation. At the time, Elizabeth was inspired by Steve Jobs' style as she wore almost the same outfit every day: a high-neck sweater and a pantsuit. When she went on the red carpet, she stuck to her signature black color and always looked spectacular. However, her invention was not as well thought out as her wardrobe.

In 2015, complaints about the quality of Theranos' medical services began to emerge. In 2018, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) accused Holmes of a massive scam with false or exaggerated claims about the accuracy of the company's blood testing technology. As a result, the company went bankrupt, the victims of the fraud were refunded, and Elizabeth was imprisoned.

Criminal couture: top 5 most stylish fraudsters in history

4. Patty Hearst

In 1974, American actress Patty Hearst was kidnapped by the terrorist left-wing radical organization Symbionese Liberation Army. The prisoner was allegedly forced to join them. Thus, she extorted millions from her father and robbed banks in order to "feed all the hungry people in Los Angeles." Hearst spent more than a year with her captors and appears to have developed Stockholm syndrome, adopting their Che Guevara-inspired views and clothing. After being apprehended by the FBI, Patty was charged with numerous robberies but was eventually pardoned by the 42nd President of the United States, Bill Clinton.

Criminal couture: top 5 most stylish fraudsters in history

5. Jeremy Meeks

Before becoming famous, Jeremy Meeks was a member of the notorious California gang Crips. The guy was arrested in 2014 during Operation Ceasefire in Stockton, California, for grand theft and illegal possession of weapons. Later, police posted a photo of the criminal on Facebook. It went viral because of Jeremy's model appearance. After serving 13 months, Meeks was released. He began a successful modeling career.

Criminal couture: top 5 most stylish fraudsters in history

Earlier, OBOZ.UA wrote about Bonnie and Clyde and other couples who died on the same day.

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