‘Madoff of Colombia’ Headed for New York

There’s a new Ponzi schemer coming to New York to face U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara.

David Murcia, the 28-year old “Madoff of Colombia” was extradited from Bogota today, wearing a bullet-proof vest and surrounded by armed guards. Mr. Murcia allegedly bilked Colombians out of $2 billion in a Ponzi scheme that involved pre-paid debit cards.

Just like Bernard Madoff, some people made a lot of money off the scam. But unlike Mr. Madoff, there were a lot of beneficiaries of Mr. Murcia’s scam–enough that he became a kind of folk hero, and demonstrators protested against the government for arresting him. (Like any good folk hero, he says things like, “My only flaw was that I dared to dream,” and, “What is criminal about dreaming?”)

He’s in the U.S. for allegedly funneling cocaine money through his company, which used some U.S. banks. Mr. Murcia should fit in fine around here. The Times visited him in prison last year, and thought “with his goatee and black turtleneck [Mr. Murcia] looks like a denizen of the Lower East Side.”

‘Madoff of Colombia’ Headed for New York