[To camera] Hi, I’m David! I’m looking to sell an authentic Ponzi scheme that soaked me for millions!
Rick: Hey there.
David Akers: Hey.
Rick: What’ve we got today?
David Akers: It’s an authentic Ponzi scheme, not to mention one that suckered notable veteran NFL kicker David Akers.
Rick: Interesting. You want to pawn it or sell it?
David Akers: Does anyone ever try to pawn anything on this show?
Rick: Maybe once.
David Akers: I would like to sell.
Rick: Charles Ponzi was an early 20th century Italian-born businessman turned scam artist. His racket went like this: he would elicit money from investors, promising huge gains. He would keep at this, collecting investor by investor. The only way he could keep this up was by making payments to the earlier investors, using the money he received from suckers who had more recently given him money. It was an ingenious and extremely lucrative scheme for its time. And thus fulfills History Channel’s flimsy justification for having this show.
Rick: So where’d you get this thing?
David Akers: Well, I’m David Akers. I am the man who was taken in by the Ponzi scheme. For a while there, I was making my way as a successful veteran kicker in the National Football League and I’ll be darned if some guy didn’t just take me to the cleaners to the tune of $3.7 million. Come to find out it wasn’t just any old scheme, but an authentic Ponzi scheme. I went to a scam expert and had it appraised at $13,000.
Rick: Okay. What are you trying to get for it?
David Akers: I’m hoping to get at least $5,000.
Rick: Gonna say right off the bat, the market for kicker financial goofs has dried up during the recession. Never mind that the NFL player bad investment market was grossly oversaturated with the crush of Mark Brunell memorabilia. Still, if you’re talking stuff related to football players being brought low for the public’s enjoyment, you’re talking big money.
Old Man: We don’t give a shit about kickers. ‘s why we call ’em shitkickers.
Rick: I’d like to kick the shit out of you.
Old Man: Time was, you’d castrate a man for backsassin’ his elders like that. Why can’t we have more sexy dames in this shop?
Rick: [Back to David] Look, I’m interesting in buying this, but only if it’s an authentic Ponzi scheme, I’m gonna call up the preeminent Ponzi scheme expert, who I just happen to be buddies with and just happens to live right down the street.
David Akers: Sounds good.
Eric: Hi. I’m Eric. I’m the preeminent Ponzi scheme expert. There are a few thing you have to look for when trying to determine whether a scam is an authentic Ponzi scheme, the foremost being whether it was actually carried out by Charles Ponzi.
David Akers: Nice to meet you.
Eric: Let’s take a look… Hmmm. Right away, I can see from these cooked financial records that this scam took place in the last few years.
David Akers: That’s correct.
Eric: The thing about that is, Charles Ponzi died in 1949, roughly 50 years before any of this took place. Based on that gap of time, I’d say it’s highly unlikely that this was a scam carried out by Ponzi himself. Rather, it’s just one that resembles the famed style in which ripped off suckers.
David Akers: I see.
Rick: You still wanna sell it?
David Akers: Well, hell. I came down here, so I guess so.
Rick: Like I said, the real value was in it being a legit Ponzi scheme, so I don’t think I can offer you that much.
How does $15 sound?
David Akers: [Exhales sharply] Whew. I don’t know. I was really hoping to get more for that. I mean, I was named to the NFL’s All-Decade Team for the 2000s. There’s gotta be something in that, right? I just moved to San Francisco, and damn that city is expensive.
Rick: Wait, so you’re not with the Eagles anymore?
David Akers: No, I play for the 49ers now.
Rick: Ooh, that changes things. Most of the 15 bucks I offered was tied to this being from the prime of your career. If this is later years Akers, it’s of considerably less interest to collectors. I’m afraid I gotta knock it down to $3.
David Akers: Let’s see, I could hold onto my dignity and refuse an insulting low-ball offer that isn’t even worth my time, but I did come all the way down here, soooo okay. We got a deal.
Rick: Awesome. We’ll get Chumlee to write you up.
David Akers: Well, I didn’t get what I wanted, but my wife said don’t come home without a quart of 2 percent, and now I have the money to buy it, so it looks like it all worked out.