1. “Birdman.” The pigeon king and the Ponzi scheme that shook Canada.
“There’s a temptation to dismiss farmers who were taken by Galbraith as ignorant or blinded by greed. But typically, their motivations were nuanced, their ambitions modest. Families dreamed of giving each child his or her own bedroom or keeping both spouses from having to take second jobs away from the family and the farm. ’We didn’t see dollar signs,’ one man told me. ’We saw more time together.’ And many, like the Bultses, did their due diligence only to find that watchdogs and regulators were unconcerned about Galbraith, even after a former Pigeon King employee says he warned Ontario’s Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs about the company in 2006. An Ohio couple who lost $250,000 (U.S.) described, in an affidavit, how they called half a dozen agricultural and law-enforcement agencies, as well as Better Business Bureaus in the United States and Canada, and turned up no red flags.”