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Our Ponzi: Leo Koretz and his Empire of Deception

Up to 24 People • A Masterclass Historical Tour!

Quick Details

Adults Ages 16+

Leo Koretz Kayak Tour in Chicago, Illinois with Wateriders!

This tour chronicles Leo Koretz’s rise—and eventual fall

  • Kayak Chicago with Wateriders, Chicagoland’s original urban kayaks.
  • Before Bernie Madoff, in Chicago there was Leo Koretz. 100 years ago, Koretz painted a picture of himself as a fabulously successful Jewish investor. LIke Madoff, he often turned away money from the tight-knit Jewish community that thought of him as an investment genius.
  • But, as his scheme began to unravel, and after he brought his family some of his ill-gotten proceeds, Koretz fled Chicago, first to New York and then to Halifax Newfoundland. Koretz’s long-forgotten story was rescued by a historian at the University of Halifax, whose book, Empire of Deception, describes the long and circuitous route by which Leo Koretz was brought to justice.
  • On this “Master Class” tour, guests will trace Leo Koretz’s scheme on the Chicago River and learn, again, that, as Joseph Weil, Chicago’s infamous “Yellow Kid,” said about his various cons: “They wanted something for nothing and I gave them nothing for something.”

What’s Included

  • Kayak
  • Life Vest
  • Paddle
  • Safety Instructions
  • Paddling Lessons
  • Guide(s)
  • Dry Bags
  • Sunscreen

What to Bring

  • Water-friendly clothing and footwear
  • Windbreaking material (if you get cold)
  • One 18+ year old guardian (for signing waiver)
  • Water