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The Salad Oil King. Rip-off #38.
High School Dropout Brings American Express to its Knees.

AMEX Card Illustration

Alfonso “Fonso” Gravenese’s vegetable oil became a business darling on Wall Street. To add credibility, American Express Bank made numerous secured loans against the company’s growing inventory.

Unbeknownst to all but a few, Fonso AKA the Salad Oil King, the 128 tanks filled with inventory along the New Jersey Turnpike were 90 percent saltwater, twigs and such. You can imagine the surprise on the faces of the Amex auditors and executives when they discovered they were about to go out of business because of a lack of liquidity. The market panics, the price of the venerable brand dropped to four dollars.

Enter a little known, young investor from Omaha, Nebraska, Warren Buffet. He bet the ranch. Bought the stock, helped turn around the company and made hundreds of millions in the process. The rest is investment history.

The Salad Oil King is the remarkable story—based on a true story—of how a streetwise, unscrupulous high school dropout eventually bilked the American government out of $13 billion before anyone even noticed. It is a classic American crime story of greed gone mad.

“A classic American crime story spun by a master storyteller.”
– San Francisco Book Review

“An intriguing book based on a true story that is both intimate and epic.”
– Manhattan Book Review

“Mesmerizing and enlightening. Great character development. Epic crime story. You’ll want to read it twice.”

DATE: Feb.22.2022 | CATEGORY: True Crime