TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE

BIG-TIME PHILANTHROPIC INVESTORS WERE SUCKERED WHEN THEY PUT FAITH, HOPE IN JOHN BENNETT'S CHARITY

Philanthropist Laurance S. Rockefeller believed in John G. Bennett Jr. So did singer Pat Boone, Philadelphia Mayor Edward Rendell and former Treasury Secretary William E. Simon, as well as an array of institutions ranging from the University of Pennsylvania to the Nature Conservancy to the National Museum of American Jewish History.

Albert Meyer, an accounting professor at Spring Arbor College in Michigan, did not believe in Bennett, however, and therein lies the tale of how an elaborate Ponzi scheme came unraveled, leaving Philadelphia, Wall Street and the cozy world of nonprofit organizations reeling in embarrassment.

Bennett, 57, is chief executive officer...

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