Scammers Arrested After Claiming They Could Multiply Money With A Secret Potion

Some scams are clever and some are not. This is one of the not-so-clever ones. Jean-Luc Mbilli and Constant Yao were arrested in Fort Lauderdale, FL after trying to convince Samith Ghazawi, an convenience store employee, that they could use a special potion to multiply money.

Ghazawi suspected that the men were using slight of hand and not a magical potion, so he called the cops. The BSO Economic Crime Unit and U.S. Secret Service set up a sting operation, complete with surveillance.

While the Secret Service watched, Ghazawi offered the men $3,000… which they refused because they wanted more. From the Sun Sentinel:

The two men were then arrested and investigators found a metal box filled with paper the size of U.S. currency in their vehicle.

Authorities asked any other people who may have fallen prey to the “black money scam” or “wash wash scam” to call sheriff’s detectives at 954-321-4255 or Broward Crime Stoppers at 954-493-8477.

You know, if we had a potion that doubled our money, we’d sit around doubling it and not bother with store clerks except to buy life-time supplies of this really expensive dark chocolate that we like. What a nice thought.

2 arrested in alleged ‘special potion’ money scam


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  1. homerjay says:

    “The BSO Economic Crime Unit and U.S. Secret Service set up a sting operation, complete with surveillance.”

    Who knew the Boston Symphony Orchestra had an economic crime unit?

  2. gatopeligroso says:

    I would love to see some a video of this. Not so much for the crooks, but for the gullible people.

  3. Meg Marco says:

    @gatopeligroso: That’s why we need a tv show.

  4. howie_in_az says:

    This is pretty lol, but they needed the money to get their father’s fortune out of Nigeria. King Mombuntu’s money could’ve been the clerk’s, had he not called the cops. Silly clerk.

    part-time author
    ‘Chinese Publishers Probably Lace Books With Poison’
    out December 2008

  5. jodles says:

    so they wanted more money than was offered, to sell the “secret” to making more money…

    seriously, a “money potion” scam? who thinks they wont get caught doing that? some people’s stupidity really amazes me, even though it probably shouldn’t.

  6. Jesse in Japan says:

    I used to wish I had a potion like that… When Iw as six.

  7. It’s like the old (very old) magic box scam, in which the scammers say that any money you put in their magic box will double or quadruple or whatever, provided you don’t pay too much attention to what they do with the box before they give it back to you, and also provided you do not open the box for X months.

    These scams are some of the oldest. They’re probably about as old as money. And people believe them for the same reason that they still, in their droves, believe there are good reasons to send money to TV preachers.

    No matter how stupid a scam sounds, the faithful are always eager to buy into it. Prosperity Preaching grows by leaps and bounds.

    If you prefer your wishful thinking without Christian decoration, try The (immensely popular) Secret.

    The people who believe this stuff are not, usually, actually feeble-minded. They’ve just never learned to think critically.

    Without critical thinking, you’re just plankton waiting for a scammer whale to suck you up.

  8. headon says:

    So, are you saying the potion won’t work. Crap, now I gotta go try and return this bottle of magic potion.

  9. ElizabethD says:

    Didn’t we already have a mess because of voodoo economics?

  10. KEHT says:

    Didn’t those fools read “Pinocchio” as children??

  11. Trai_Dep says:

    So obviously fake. Unless it’s a leprechan that’s selling it.

  12. ViperBorg says:

    @ElizabethD: What? Are you implying that mess is cleaned up already?

  13. coffee177 says:

    I have finally been successful in duplicating money. Ive tried to share this with my nephews but its not working. What you do is go to work for a week and not miss a day. Then the next week you do it again and “Ta DA!” you just doubled your money!

    Ive tested this for over 25 years and it seems to work everytime except when I worked for CVS drug stores.


  14. 20/20 did a story on this scam. The guy they caught had successfully bilked a heart surgeon with the “black money” scam.



  15. Beerad says:

    I think the headline should read “Innocent alchemists falsely imprisioned while peddling their wares!”

  16. blue_duck says:

    @Jesse in Japan: I still do, I’m just “big kid” enough to know it doesn’t exist.

  17. after trying to convince Samith Ghazawi, an convenience store employee, that they could use a special potion to multiply money.

    Wait, what!?!?! I thought y’all were just being funny in the headline!

  18. King of the Wild Frontier says:

    The “potion” wasn’t supposed to literally create more dollar bills; the black money scam pretends that sheaves of black paper are really currency that’s been dyed black to disguise it for smuggling, and that they can purchase some secret chemical to clean it with. The sleight of hand referred to in the story is to switch a randomly-selected piece of black construction paper with a real dollar bill that has been covered with Elmer’s glue and iodine to look like black construction paper. []

  19. goodguy812 says:

    sounds like something you’d find on a zelda game.
    then all kinds of ferrys will fly around and give you full hearts.

  20. mrwok says:

    Will the potion “double” anything else?