What is it about the plastics industry that seems to attract scammers and ne'er-do-wells? The Chicago Tribune today has a story about Matt Goldstein, an alleged scammer who is accused of cheating some women out of at least $24,000 -- and maybe much more. Goldstein, who claimed to be Success magazine's "Achiever of the Year" (there's a copy of the bogus cover on the Tribune's Web site), also claimed to be the wealthy chief executive officer of a California plastics company. (I checked our archives and was relieved that we've apparently never written about his imaginary company) Let me emphasize that Goldstein hasn't been convicted of anything -- on Thursday he was charged by the Cook County state's attorney's office with one count of deceptive practice for allegedly cashing $16,000 in checks he wrote from a closed account. The rest of the story is based on stories from other women who claim he has bilked them, but no additional charges are pending yet. It seems like we've had more than our share of stories about plastics-connected scams over the years. I think we do the industry a service by reporting many of them, because a con artist who robs investors in one city often moves to another town and tries the same thing. We've definitely saved some investors from losing their shirts over the years. But greed guarantees that we'll never see the end of this problem.
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