HIGH FINANCE: The Boy Wonder

In these days of signers and counter-signers, collateral and credit investigators, a man who can chisel a bank is rare indeed. Last week, after a fortnight at their adding machines, red-faced country bankers in three Eastern states totted up losses of better than $800,000 as victims of one of the niftiest and most labyrinthine swindles since Boston's dapper Charles Ponzi was in his prime. The man credited with the feats of financial erring do was Earl Belle, 26, a baby-faced Pittsburgh sharpie currently residing scot-free in Rio de Janeiro. So slick was his pitch that only this spring he...

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