Charles Ponzi (March 3, 1882 – January 18, 1949) was an Italian businessman and con artist in the U.S. and Canada. His aliases include Charles Ponci, Carlo and Charles P. Bianchi. Born and raised in Italy, he became known in the early 1920s as a swindler in North America for his money-making scheme. He promised clients a 50% profit within 45 days, or 100% profit within 90 days, by buying discounted postal reply coupons in other countries and redeeming them at face value in the United States as a form of arbitrage. In reality, Ponzi was paying early investors using the investments of later investors, a practice known as "robbing Peter to pay Paul." While this swindle predated Ponzi by several years, it became so identified with him that it now bears his namesake. His scheme ran for over a year before it collapsed, costing his "investors" $20 million.