Extra Virgin Suicides is an interactive graphic from the New York Times about the global business of counterfeit olive oil. The NYT graphic is pretty slick, too.
Gary Bolton has been found guilty of selling fake bomb detectors to countries including Iraq. In May James McCormick was sentenced for 10 years for committing a similar fraud (previously, previously, previously). The original fraud is now 20 years old.
Montaous Walton just wanted to play ball, so he made up a fake online persona, fooled the media, signed with an agent and ended up in handcuffs.
Confessions of a Genius Art Forger — In one of Germany's greatest art scandals, former hippie and talented artist Wolfgang Beltracchi forged dozens of paintings over a period of 35 years, earning millions and fooling top collectors and museums. In a SPIEGEL interview, he reveals how he did it and why he eventually got caught. Photo Gallery. Background... [more inside]
[Warning: some links NSFW] Callgirl and blogger Alexa DiCarlo had some questions raised about her authenticity dating back to 2008 and 2009, but her website RealPrincessDiaries.com (archive.org cache) still attracted huge traffic and she was even named the #1 sex blogger of 2010. A student at SFSU's master's degree program in sexuality studies, she also volunteered her time providing sex education advice to teenagers online under the name Caitlain or Cathy. And she mentored newbie sex workers via e-mail, giving them pro tips and even sharing with them one of her top clients, Matt, whose identity and safety she vouched for. But in true Kaycee Nicole / JT LeRoy style, it now turns out there wasn't any "Alexa", "Caitlain", or "Cathy". Outed by the anonymous blog Expose A Bro, combined with the anonymous twitter account @ExposingAlexa, the real story has emerged. Alexa was apparently a married middle-aged guy named Pat, not a student at SFSU, had no formal training from which to be sharing "advice" (or naked photos!) with those teenagers online, and he was the "client" that "Alexa" had sent to her protégées to sleep with... [more inside]
Fake Memoir Exposed: Margaret Seltzer, pen name Margaret Jones, wrote a critically acclaimed memoir, Love and Consequences, that was published last week. NPR's "On Point" covered the story, and she gave Penguin an interview. After seeing a New York Times feature, though, her own sister outed her as a fraud. [more inside]