A High-Profile Economics Expert Was A Recently Released Fraudster
In 2012, some Portuguese prisoners were surprised to turn on the news and see top UN economist Artur Baptista da Silva issue a thundering denunciation of the government's austerity policy. And not because they had strong opinions on macroeconomics, but because they recognized him as their old pal, who had served time for both fraud and a hit-and-run. In under a year, he had apparently earned a doctorate, became a professor at an American university, taken a sabbatical to work as a UN special envoy, and became Portugal's top pundit. What a work ethic!
SIC Noticias"No one with that much bald and that nerdy a suit could possibly NOT be an economics professor." -- every cable news producer
OK, so it turns out the IMF isn't holding a lot of job fairs at prisons. Da Silva had simply downloaded a World Bank paper, slapped his name on it, and wandered around universities and think tanks, introducing himself as a UN envoy and asking for notes on "his" report. He bolstered his claim by handing out business cards declaring him a professor at Wisconsin's Milton College, which closed in 1982. They also had his Gmail address, which makes sense, since the UN had largely transferred over from RocketMail by that point.