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article imageHurry: Face of Billionaire Accused of Fraud Now Available in Tile

By M Dee Dubroff     Apr 17, 2009 in Crime
The mustached face of Sir Allen Stanford, the billionaire Texan accused of an $8 billion fraud by U.S. regulators, can be yours for a mere $29.99. Others may pay $30, but not you.
Kosmas Ballis, a Fort Myers, Florida, entrepreneur who really does have quite a set of them, has put Sir Allen Stanford's face on a “limited edition” commemorative tile that he peddles on eBay. According to news sources, he created the Stanford image soon after the U.S. Securities and Exchange accused the financier and three of his companies of a massive Ponzi scheme. About 30 of the 6-inch black and white tiles have sold so far.
In Ballis’s own words:
“Only 1,000 will be produced and the original plaster models will then be destroyed. This would be an ideal gift for friend or for family. We’ve done pretty well with them.”
Another tile is doing far better. Can anyone guess whose image on a commemorative tile is selling like hotcakes? It’s good old homeboy crook, Bernie Madoff. Once again according to Mr. Ballis:
“The Madoff tile is selling like crazy and is especially popular with Palm Beach, Florida gift shops."
Perhaps the two should be sold as a commemorative pair?
Madoff, who had a $9.4 million home and wealthy clients in Palm Beach, pleaded guilty on March 12 to running the biggest investment fraud in Wall Street's history. Stanford and his lawyers claim he is innocent and said he did not run a Ponzi scheme (a fraudulent practice in which early investors are paid with funds from later investors). Stanford has not been convicted, while Madoff is another story. Maybe that’s why he’s doing so well (in tiles, not in stripes).
Has free enterprise run amuck?
Should we next emboss images of killers and other miscreants on t-shirts and sell them just because we can? And should we wait until they are convicted or just go ahead and assume they did it?
What do you think about this?
More about Sir allen stanford, Commemorative tiles, Bernie madoff
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