Female White-Collar Crime Divas-Mordern Day Thieves

#New York – “Queen of Fencing” Marm Mandelbaum

Marm” Mandelbaum

 Fredericka Mandelbaum

“They say looks can be deceiving.  Who would ever think this gentle, grandmother image was that of the “Queen of fencing,” as in stolen goods? But, it is the reputation of this 1800’s CrimeDiva known as Marm Mandelbaum.  There were no computers back in those days to pull off the crimes known today as White-Collar, but the concept of taking something that doesn’t belong to you was big business and made “Marm” a millionaire.  If we calculate  the equivalent of a million dollars then to the worth of it today Marm was an extremely wealthy  CrimeDiva.

I located some interesting articles about the Queen of Fence, who mingled with the criminals and socialites of her time and thought this reflection in history would show the same “Greed Bug” is alive, probably more so now, and remains a challenge for society.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Fredericka “Marm” Mandelbaum (1818 – February 1894) was a New York entrepreneur and operated as a criminal to many of the street gangs and criminals of the city’s underworld, handling between $1–5 million in stolen goods between 1862 until 1884. Like her principal rival John D. Grady and the Grady Gang, she also became a patron to the criminal elements of the city and was involved in financing and organizing numerous burglaries and other criminal operations throughout the post-American Civil War era.

Emigrating from Prussia with her husband Wolfe Mandelbaum, the two arrived in New York in 1848. Purchasing a dry goods store on Clinton, by 1854, the business was operating as a front for the Mandelbaums’ criminal operations (she would later need to store goods in two large warehouses in the city). However, instead of waiting to be approached by criminals, Mandelbaum began financing thieves and burglars and was involved in planning some of the biggest thefts in the city’s history. Expanding her operations, she controlled several gangs of blackmailers and confidence men as well as a school to recruit and teach younger criminals on pickpocketing. She was also a top competitor to the Grady Gang.

During this time, she had become one of New York’s most prominent hostesses of New York’s high society, as well as the underworld, regularly associating with some of the most well-known criminals of the day including Queen LizBig Mary“Black” Lena KleinschmidtAdam WorthSophie Lyons, and George Leonidas Leslie as well as judges and police officials.

However, in 1884, New York District Attorney Peter B. Olney hired the Pinkerton Detective Agency to infiltrate Mandelbaum’s organization. An agent, posing as a prospective thief, arranged to have several marked bolts of silk stolen from a store where it was discovered in a police raid on her home the following morning. Arrested with her son Julius and clerk Herman Stroude, Mandelbaum was released on bail and fled the United States with an estimated $1 million. She settled in Toronto where she remained until her death in 1894.

Times have definitely changed, there aren’t too many places the government will not go to bring a fugitive back to serve his/her time.

As you can see Marm, like many today like the GOOD life.  The Smithsonian have a more detailed articles on today’s CrimeDiva and I believe will provide a fuller look at this diva’s life.

Please, remember to tell someone else about this site, so we can start making a difference in stopping white-collar crimes.

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