One Swiss professor - presumably he wrote his doctorate on complete stupidity - gave the gang $482,000 on the promise of a $9 million return. Among the "expenses" he shelled out was a sum for chemicals needed to "clean" the illicit cash. This is a 419 classic - the notes have allegedly been marked with a special dye to prevent recirculation. Obviously, getting it off requires special, expensive liquids...Link Discuss
The prof did, however, eventually get his revenge on the ne'er-do-well Nigerians. He helped the Dutch police lure the scammers to an Amsterdam railway station in the Summer of 2002, where the whole bunch had their collars duly felt. Sadly, the total amount accrued by the jailbirds is unknown. The authorities believe it runs into millions of euro, none of which is likely to be recovered.
I write books. My latest is a YA science fiction novel called Homeland (it's the sequel to Little Brother). More books: Rapture of the Nerds (a novel, with Charlie Stross); With a Little Help (short stories); and The Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow (novella and nonfic). I speak all over the place and I tweet and tumble, too.