The secretary who helped uncover one of America’s strangest Ponzi schemes – The Hustle

The whole thing started because Robin H. Swanson wanted to send flowers.


Swanson ordered a standard bouquet from the closest florist she could find, a business called Floral Fantasies. The flowers plus delivery cost $23.95. Swanson used her Visa card. The boss’s wife was thankful for the gift. That was that.

Or so Swanson thought.

She realized a few weeks later she had been charged $601.11 for the order — the equivalent of ~$1.6k today.

“The bottom line is I got pissed,” Swanson told The Hustle. “I turned into an investigator.”

The coming months would take Swanson and her husband down a path that was anything but ordinary: phone calls with a charismatic young entrepreneur, a clandestine visit to a lavish gated community, a dust-up with hired goons.

Swanson was just trying to get her money, but she ended up doing far more. She helped set a foundation for the downfall of one of the biggest — and most bizarre — Ponzi schemes of the 1980s.