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Spires: Lying with a straight face

Spires: Lying with a straight face

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Lying with a straight face.

No, I’m not talking about the current political arena.

Over the years I have meet some particularly good liars. As a matter of fact, I would classify them as “World Class.”

You see a good liar can look you in the face and tell you a lie without ever flinching.

I know you have heard the old saying, “If his mouth is open, he is lying.” I’m not talking about those kinds of people. We all know someone or several someone’s that fit that category.

What I am referring to is that special person who can lie and make you believe it is the truth.

A good example would be Bernie Madoff. Everybody should know about Bernie. He lied his way into $17 billion and thankfully also into 150 years in prison.

I know folks who struggle with telling the truth, they are pretty easy to spot. One tell-tale way to know if someone is lying to you is to watch their eyes.

Most liars can not look you in the eye when they are telling a fib, instead they tend to shift their eyes around to avoid any direct contact.

Kids are the best example. Once you start quizzing them about something, say like, “Did you hit your brother?” If they are hiding the truth, they cannot look you in the eye.

If you got a child that can look you in the eye and lie, then you may have a problem.

I know two people that can look you in the eye and “lie like a rug.” Both of them are good at deception; however, like Madoff, they too got caught.

Ironically, both of these people totally fooled me. I didn’t invest any money, but I did think what they were doing was legal.

One fellow (I will not name) bilked folks out of a $100 million. That’s right, a $100 million. It was a Ponzi scheme that worked like a dream unless you were the last person in or wanted your investment back.

The other is a career criminal that came up with an idea of a scheme to bilk the federal government out of millions of dollars doing something that from all accounts looked legitimate.

A clerical mistake took both of these fellows down, by the way.

I’ve written this, by the way, as a warning to those folks that feel financial pressure during these times to be careful with their money.

In other words, if it seems to good to be true, it probably is someone trying to scam you.

Byron Spires is a retired newspaper editor. He has written dozens of short stories and serials in the Havana Herald. He recently published “The Curious Life of Marci Bell: Part I,” in a series of three books. You can contact him at

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