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Persona: The French Deception

Persona: The French Deception

What does it feel like to pick up the phone and scam someone out of $50 million? This is the story of Gilbert Chikli, one of the greatest con artists of all time. Host and award-winning journalist Evan Ratliff investigates how Chikli duped some of the world?s most powerful people into handing over their fortunes. He explores how Chikli evaded the law for years and became a Robin Hood-like hero. More than just a tale of criminal genius, this is a show about the moment we?re living in right now ? the golden age of scammers ? and the power of seduction. But what happens when the fantasy we?ve been lured into finally crumbles away?

Follow Persona: The French Deception wherever you get your podcasts, or you can listen early on Amazon Music or early and ad-free by subscribing to Wondery Plus in Apple Podcasts or the Wondery app.

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Episodes

Introducing Project Unabom

When the Unabomber was arrested in 1996, the world got it?s first glimpse of the serial bomber who had terrorized the nation for 18 years and murdered three people. Bearded and disheveled, he was the perfect depiction of a mad bomber. But what actually happened during those 18 years? What drove Ted Kaczynski to his dystopian vision of people overrun by technology and why does it feel so familiar? And why did it take nearly two decades to catch him? Based on new original reporting, host Eric Benson tells the story of a nation reckoning with an increasingly deadly bombing campaign, and a family coming to grips with just what was happening inside a tiny cabin in the Montana woods. Project Unabom is an Apple Original podcast, produced by Pineapple Street Studios.

Listen here: https://apple.co/Project_Unabom

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2022-08-18
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After the Deception | 9

Reporter Evan Ratliff joins the hosts of Wondery?s ongoing series Scamfluencers, Scaachi Koul and Sarah Hagi, to discuss how he pieced his investigation on Gilbert Chikli together and shares his insights into the culture of scams.

Listen to new episodes 1 week early and to all episodes ad free with Wondery+. Join Wondery+ for exclusives, binges, early access, and ad free listening. Available in the Wondery App https://wondery.app.link/persona.

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2022-08-01
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What To Listen To Next: Scamfluencers

You never really know someone?especially online. In today?s world, the power of influence can be the quickest path to money and fame, and it often ends in ruin. These are the stories of the world?s most insidious Scamfluencers. And we are their prey. On Wondery?s new weekly series, join co-hosts Scaachi Koul and Sarah Hagi as they unpack epic stories of deception from the worlds of social media, fashion, finance, health, and wellness. These influencers claim to be everything from charismatic healers to trusted financial insiders to experts in dating. They cast spells over millions. Why do we believe them, and how does our culture allow them to thrive? From Black Swan Murder to a fake social media influencer to an audacious Hollywood Ponzi schemer, each season will take the listener along the twists and turns, the impact on victims, and what?s left when the facade falls away.

Listen here: wondery.fm/WTLTN_Scamfluencers

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2022-07-20
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Cards on the Table | 8

In the season finale, a confounding clue in Gilbert Chikli?s case sends Evan back to the dossier to see if someone else might have orchestrated the Le Drian affair. The search takes him from the world of high-stakes professional poker, to the office of a lawyer with a curious role in the case, to an apartment building full of unmarked doors. Finally, we return to the very start of Chikli?s mythology, and the Persona team receives a mysterious phone call of our own.

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2022-07-18
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The Voice | 7

Gilbert Chikli finally appears in court. The evidence appears stacked against him, including forensic comparisons of his voice to recordings of the scam. The prosecution lays out their story, while Chikli turns the trial into one final media frenzy. When Evan looks closely at the science, it appears less convincing. But will the court see the flaws in the case built around Chikli's scamming legend? When it?s all over, Evan comes across a new detail that calls everything into question.

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2022-07-11
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The Fat One | 6

The French police are on the trail of a leader of the Le Drian affair, but all they have to go on is a nickname, ?the Fat One.? Meanwhile the scammers have hooked their biggest target yet: a Turkish billionaire ready to hand over tens of millions of dollars. A new set of secretly recorded tapes brings Evan closer than ever to the center of the con. But revelations about the offshore money movements of the scam?s largest marks cast the villains and victims in a new light.

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2022-07-04
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The Mask | 5

As a new scam emerges in the south of France, investigators stumble upon a tantalizing new clue. Meanwhile, reports begin to circulate that some victims haven?t just talked on the phone to the Le Drian impersonator ? they?ve spoken to him on video. Evan journeys to a medieval town in the heart of French wine country for new leads from a man who came face-to-face with the fake Minister.

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2022-06-27
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The Tiger Dossier | 4

A series of mysterious phone calls to French embassies around the world prompt the authorities to start a new investigation. Someone is impersonating the French Minister of Defense, targeting foreign governments and wealthy French speakers. As the scammer fleeces an influential billionaire for $20 million, the police believe there?s only one man audacious enough to have pulled it off. Years later, Evan gains access to the case file and begins to retrace the investigators? steps.

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2022-06-20
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Copycats | 3

When a young graphic designer is detained crossing the Bulgarian border, he finds himself inside a nightmare that lasts for years. The scam is wreaking havoc, and not always on who you?d expect. Gilbert Chikli?s invention has gone global, raking in billions of dollars a year from multinational corporations, tempting the most unlikely of co-conspirators, and cementing Chikli?s legend around the world.

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See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

2022-06-13
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Genius | 2

Gilbert Chikli was known to friends and family in Israel as a flamboyant local celebrity, a Robin Hood figure, and an innovator who by necessity ended up on the wrong side of the law. But as Chikli galivants around town with new yachts and suitcases of money, the French authorities begin closing in. The situation may call for a daring escape.

Persona: The French Deception is the story of Gilbert Chikli, one of the greatest con artists of all time. More than just a tale of criminal genius, this is a show about the moment we?re living in right now ? the golden age of scammers ? and the power of seduction. But what happens when the fantasy we?ve been lured into finally crumbles away?

Please support us by supporting our sponsors!

See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

2022-06-06
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Madame G | 1

In Paris, a banker receives a bizarre call from her boss. He says she'll soon be contacted by a secret agent about a confidential government operation. The instructions provided by the agent are simple: wait in a bathroom stall, listen for the password and then hand over a bag stuffed with hundreds of thousands in cash to a stranger through the stall door. Meanwhile, nearly 3,000 miles away in Israel, a musician is drawn into his new friend?s underground network. Thus begins the scam of the century.

Persona: The French Deception is the story of Gilbert Chikli, one of the greatest con artists of all time. More than just a tale of criminal genius, this is a show about the moment we?re living in right now ? the golden age of scammers ? and the power of seduction. But what happens when the fantasy we?ve been lured into finally crumbles away?

Please support us by supporting our sponsors!

See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

2022-06-06
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Introducing - Persona: The French Deception

What does it feel like to pick up the phone and scam someone out of $50 million? This is the story of Gilbert Chikli, one of the greatest con artists of all time. Host and award-winning journalist, Evan Ratliff, investigates how Chikli successfully duped some of the world?s most powerful people into handing over their fortunes. He explores how Chikli evaded the law for years and became a Robin Hood-like hero. More than just a tale of criminal genius, this is a show about the moment we?re living in right now ? the golden age of scammers ? and the power of seduction. But what happens when the fantasy we?ve been lured into finally crumbles away?

Follow Persona: The French Deception wherever you get your podcasts, or you can listen early on Amazon Music or early and ad-free by subscribing to Wondery Plus in Apple Podcasts or the Wondery app.

See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

2022-05-23
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