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Pan Motor Company: The Great Auto Industry Swindle

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Let's take a moment to remember Samuel Conner Pandolfo, the founder of the Pan Motor Company. Pandolfo incorporated his company in Delaware in 1918, and built a factory in St. Cloud, Minnesota. Pandolfo raised over $9.5 million from investors, making elaborate promises of future profits. Soon reports emerged that all was not right in St. Could, and investors started getting nervous. Just a year later the lawsuits started up. Pan Motors was out of business by 1922, and it subsequently emerged that the company had only produced less than 800 cars in its four years of existence. Pandolfo wound up in prison after a federal court found him guilty of of mail fraud. The company was liquidated in 1925.
These days, of course, we have vast federal and state bureaucracies that make sure nothing like this will ever happen again.