“The person who gets money dishonestly

is like a bird that hatches eggs it didn’t lay.

In the prime of life he will lose his riches,

and in the end he is nothing but a fool” (Jer 17:11)


This is the story of a fool!

Charles Deville Wells (1841–1922), was a famous gambler and confidence trickster, a con artist. Such a man sets out to defraud or deceive people by persuading them to believe a lie and making them give money away.

In July 1891 Wells went to Monte Carlo with £4,000 that he had defrauded from investors in a bogus invention, called a musical jump rope. He used this money to stay in an expensive hotel and gamble daily.  He won millions of francs at the roulette. Despite hiring private detectives the Casino never discovered Wells’s system of wining.

He soon became a celebrity. He bought cars and houses. Women followed him. He lied that his success was because he was a brilliant engineer, who had also invented a fuel-saving device for steam-ships. He persuaded many wealthy people to invest in his invention. He made another trip to Monte Carlo in a large yacht in the winter of 1892 with his mistress. Wells explained that the yacht was to test his device. Wells invested his money and that of others in gambling again. This time he lost millions.

Wells was arrested and extradited to England. He was found guilty of fraud and given eight years. Later, he immigrated to France, where a financial scam earned him another five-year sentence in prison.

In 1922, Wells died as a poor beggar in Paris.

The Word of God is true!


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