The FBI has arrested actor/director/producer Henry Winkler, best known for his role as leather jacketed-rebel Arthur “Fonzie” Fonzarelli on the popular Seventies sitcom Happy Days on charges he defrauded investors of up to $150 million in a Ponzie Scheme.
However, due to the name of Winkler’s most famous character, those who invested in Winkler and lost their life savings are angrily and contemptuously referring to it as a “Fonzie Scheme”.
Henry Winkler is accused of a “Fonzie Scheme”
“I lost EVERYTHING!” said Sarah Jameson, who spent 30 years as an English teacher in Vermont and had planned to use her savings to retire in Phoenix. “I worked so hard for decades, and now I have to start all over again!”
Jameson said she was a big fan of the “Fonzie” character on TV but laments her carelessness in investing in Winkler’s plan to triple her life savings. She said seeing him recently on TV in commercials for reverse mortgages had given her the peace of mind to believe her money would be safe.
According to the FBI, Winkler has actually had financial problems since the turn of the millennium and had been turning in desperation to Fonzie Schemes to make himself look financially solvent.
“Winkler’s life was in making movies and producing television shows, and a string of money-losing ventures and bad investments left him drained financially,” said an FBI spokesman who spoke to Ponderings From Pluto on the condition of anonymity. “He wanted people to continue to think things were still cool.”
One FBI report says that things got so bad for Winkler that he had to sell his office and had been using his private bathroom at home as a makeshift office.
If found guilty of the charges, Winkler faces 84 years in prison, full restitution and a $500,000 fine.
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