Crime and Punishment

Grandfather who bilked post-Katrina builders: prosecutors

Serial scammer could spend rest of life behind bars

A senior citizen behind two multimillion-dollar cons was recently brought to justice after swindling money from at least 300 victims around the world, according to prosecutors.

Victims were left begging for their money from William Lange, founder of Harbor Funding Group, prosecutors said. Lange promised financing to individuals hoping to rebuild areas devastated by Hurricane Katrina.

"They met him [Lange] before they gave the money. And he looked them straight in the eyes and he lied to them," said Winston Paes, chief of the Securities Fraud Section, U.S. Attorney, Eastern District of New York.

CNBC's Crime & Punishment got an exclusive look inside the case, including what the grandfather bought with the stolen cash, including moose-hunting trips, Harley-Davidson bikes and fried pies, according to prosecutors.

A separate scam, prosecutors say, involved selling shares in a fake gold mine.