Become a fan of Slashdot on Facebook

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Power The Courts Transportation News Hardware

"Perpetual Motion DeLorean" Scammers Face $26M Judgment 243

Posted by Soulskill
from the tanstaafl-my-friend dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Back in 2002, we discussed a story about the so-called 'Perpetual Motion DeLorean,' which could 'supposedly go "hundreds of miles" at speeds over 100MPH without stopping to recharge.' More than seven years later, the final shoe has dropped on this saga, with a $26 million judgment against Carl Tilley and his wife, who propagated this scam that ran for several years. Probably the height of its audacity was when Tilley told his shareholders in May of 2002 that GE had offered $2 billion 'sight unseen' to buy out the technology."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

"Perpetual Motion DeLorean" Scammers Face $26M Judgment

Comments Filter:
  • by fredklein (532096) on Saturday January 30, 2010 @01:19PM (#30964094)

    Did it go 88mph?

    • It did and then the electric system blew out.

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Greyfox (87712)
      I used to know a mechanic who worked on every DeLorean in town (He often had 2 or 3 in his shop at any one time) and he told me they picked that number for the movie because the car's not actually capable of attaining such speeds. He didn't go into details and may have been joking, but I always found it to be rather amusing.
      • The De Lorean can go much faster than 88 mph. It uses a Ford 351 Cleveland engine, IIRC.

        • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

          by biryokumaru (822262) *
          Actually it had a PRV V6 at about 200 HP.
          • Actually it had a PRV V6 at about 200 HP.

            170HP without a catalytic converter. US regulations required one and so it lost around 40HP on top of that in the US version. 200HP was the design specs which they could not actually meet in production.

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          It uses a Ford 351 Cleveland engine, IIRC.

          Err, unless it was modified - no. The factory produced DMC-12 used a 170HP PRV [wikipedia.org] engine (a Peugeot-Renault-Volvo design) without a catalytic converter, which when fitted with one as per US regulations lost further 40HP for a grand total of 130HP. Not exactly a racetrack terror given the car's weight of 1.2 metric tons.

        • by mobby_6kl (668092)

          Huh? Maybe the actual car in they used for filming had an engine swap, but the regular DMC-12s had 2.8l V6 PRV engines.

          Still, even with that shitty engine, there is no way it 88 mph is above its top speed. I drive a much larger and heavier car with less power than the DeLorean had, and I easily get it to go faster than that every day on my way to work. The problem might be in acceleration, as it would probably take it at least 1/4 miles (and 15-16 seconds) to get up to this speed.

  • by s-whs (959229) on Saturday January 30, 2010 @01:25PM (#30964148)

    Without doubt that guy could be on the board or be CEO of a big company...

    (I'm being serious!)

    • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 30, 2010 @01:29PM (#30964176)
      ...and here's a device that's flat, sexy and will revolutionaise the tablet market!
    • by cryfreedomlove (929828) on Saturday January 30, 2010 @01:40PM (#30964270)
      Serious? Really? How are most technology CEO's scammers on a level that this guy is on? Can you name a legit technology CEO that you think is at that same 'scam level'?
      • by ScrewMaster (602015) * on Saturday January 30, 2010 @01:50PM (#30964336)

        Serious? Really? How are most technology CEO's scammers on a level that this guy is on? Can you name a legit technology CEO that you think is at that same 'scam level'?

        Well, "scammer" is a relative term. Certainly a number of U.S. CEO-types have scammed their employees out of their jobs, and have been scamming the government for years (H1B allocations, outsourcing, not enough capable American workers, TARP, etc. etc. etc.) so a comparison of the level of ethics involved is entirely reasonable.

        • Open the borders (Score:2, Interesting)

          Well, "scammer" is a relative term. Certainly a number of U.S. CEO-types have scammed their employees out of their jobs, and have been scamming the government for years (H1B allocations, outsourcing, not enough capable American workers, TARP, etc. etc. etc.) so a comparison of the level of ethics involved is entirely reasonable.

          H1B is a scam? I believe in open immigration. Unless we can prove you are a criminal, we should let you in. Where you were born is random chance, so it hardly seems fair for me to hoard the benefits of living in the USA.

          • H1B has nothing to do with immigration. If H1B workers were citizens they wouldn't drive down salaries.

            • How does H1B drive down salaries? I've been a hiring manager for many years and I have not seen that.
              • Re:Open the borders (Score:5, Interesting)

                by A nonymous Coward (7548) on Saturday January 30, 2010 @04:40PM (#30965704)

                Because the H1B holders are as close to indentured servants as it gets these days. Their H1B visas are tied to their jobs -- if they lose their jobs, they have something like two weeks to find a new job or leave the country.

                Employers like that bludgeon to hold against employees. Work your ass off for less pay, don't cause trouble, and in a few years you might be able to stay here on your own. I'd like to see a plot of how many H1B employees are laid off or fired vs time with the H1B. I bet there'd be a spike near the end. I bet a plot of hires vs time in visa would show hiring falling off near the end of the visa time. Why hire an H1B who only has a few months of servitude remaining? On the other hand, those within such close reach of a permanent visa might just be more desperate and more willing to take crappy terms.

                Proper H1B reform would start with applying the visa to the employee, not the job. You'd see corporate interest in hiring H1B holders drop like a rock. That should tell you something.

          • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

            by Necrobruiser (611198)
            Hoarding the benefits of living in the USA? You say that like these benefits just naturally grow here. The benefits of living in the USA are there because people worked and fought to create and perpetuate these benefits. Giving them away to everyone is the best way to devalue them. If people from other countries want the same benefits, they should work for them the same way previous generations of Americans did. You seem awfully quick to give away things that you don't have the right to.
            • If you follow your logic to the extreme then we should close the borders and allow zero immigration. Is that what you advocate?
              • If you follow your logic to the extreme then we should close the borders and allow zero immigration. Is that what you advocate?

                "If we follow your logic to the extreme" ... what the hell does that mean? The GP made a reasonable (and, I might add, valid) point. It also had nothing whatsoever to do with immigration.

                Your transparent attempt to discredit his perspective by carrying it to the point of ridiculousness says a lot more about you than anything else. If you have a legitimate argument as to why America (or any other nation) should simply allow itself to be dismantled and sold off piecemeal to the rest of the world, please ma

            • The benefits of living in the USA are there because previous immigrants - British, German, Irish and Polish - worked and fought to create and perpetuate these benefits.

              Fixed that for you.

            • The people who are willing to leave one country to live in another are the hardest working and most creative, the very ones an immigration policy should encourage. The ones who were born here and want to shut the doors are the dumbest and least imaginative and the most likely to cause grief for employers by demanding what's theirs by birthright. Following that logic, policy should be to welcome immigrants and require natural born citizens to prove they deserve the benefits of living there or being evicted

          • Naive attitude. This is a sovereign nation with borders and the right to self-preservation so placing controls on who can enter falls entirely within those rights. You are advocating opening the flood gates and creating a free-for-all by letting anyone in who merely requests entry--essentially nullifying the impact of controlled, selective, and orderly immigration. A massive, sudden swell of immigrants is a disruptive force on the economy due to the finite availability of jobs, housing, and public services.

            • Your utopian plan will never be adopted by Americans because it is just plain stupid.

              I believe you misspelled "dystopian".

        • Some would argue that most governments scam their citizens to some degree. In the US's case, the scam was TARP ("to save the economy") as the banks themselves did not have the power to steal themselves a trillion without the government using its authority to remove that sum from the citizenry.
          Even the economy its self can be viewed as fraudulent as it has been constructed (inflationary FED practices, stimulus packages, corporate welfare etc.).

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by Hognoxious (631665)

            It's easy to bash the bankers - heck, a lot of politicians are making a career out of it.

            But given that the banking industry basically underpins all the others, there were very few options but to bail them out. Not saying I like or agree with it, but I'm calling it how it is.

            In consequence it comes down to this - when the banks hold a pistol to their heads, they're pointing a fucking big howitzer at everyone else.

            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by ScrewMaster (602015) *

              It's easy to bash the bankers - heck, a lot of politicians are making a career out of it.

              But given that the banking industry basically underpins all the others, there were very few options but to bail them out. Not saying I like or agree with it, but I'm calling it how it is.

              In consequence it comes down to this - when the banks hold a pistol to their heads, they're pointing a fucking big howitzer at everyone else.

              Two things went wrong: improper Clinton-era deregulation (yes, this has been going on for a while now) and bank management that immediately began to exhibit the very behavior the original regulation was designed to prevent. Much as some of us detest the thought, the reality is that there is no such thing as a workable "free market", those with power cannot be trusted to wield it with anything but their own best interests in mind, and because of that we do need the institution of government.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Gorobei (127755)

        Darl McBride, ex-CEO of SCO.

  • ...require extraordinary evidence.

    • ...require extraordinary evidence.

      I always hated that statement, and real scientists should avoid it like the plague. Yes, I know Carl Sagan said it, doesn't mean he was correct. There are no levels of "evidence", there is only evidence or non-evidence. The claim itself will define what evidence is required, there's no special additional evidence that fantastic claims require...just plain old EVIDENCE.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 30, 2010 @01:26PM (#30964156)
    Vaseline? Where we're going, we don't need Vaseline.
  • So that reminds me, we all need to start wearing our multiple ties [wikia.com] and chrome sunglasses [reelmovienews.com] so that they are in fashion by the time 2015 [wikipedia.org] is here. And Nike, where are my power shoelaces?!

    • So that reminds me, we all need to start wearing our multiple ties [wikia.com] and chrome sunglasses [reelmovienews.com]

      This is Slashdot. Most of us refuse to wear one tie, never mind two. Although the Doc Brown chrome glasses would let us sleep at work without anyone knowing, currently only possible if one goes though the trouble of learning how to sleep with one's eyes open.

      You may be on to something here.

  • It wasn't a scam (Score:5, Insightful)

    by gyrogeerloose (849181) on Saturday January 30, 2010 @01:54PM (#30964376) Journal

    It was a tax on people who don't understand the basic laws of thermodynamics.

    • Seems fair enough to me :-)

    • the "Steorn" guys/scammers here in Ireland are still at it

      http://boards.ie/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=2055768261 [boards.ie]

      with their machine that creates energy out of nothing :D

    • by nurb432 (527695)

      If you could tap into non traditional energy sources on board ( like heat, sunlight, cosmic rays, etc ) the car would be for all practical purposes perpetual ( until physical entropy took over and the wheels fell off. ).

      And while i agree NOTHING last forever, in this game its all relative. If you can outlast mankind ( like our sun will ), might as well call it perpetual.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by IorDMUX (870522)
      You should have seen their "detailed" psuedoscientific claims referring to their revolutionary lead-acid batteries... I offer a few quotes:

      the proper use of the overpotentials in these double surfaces can produce current that moves against the voltage.

      in addition to the external charges of molecules and atoms that they normally consider, there are also ongoing a huge variety of nuclear currents and charging that presently do not appear in any book on batteries

      Again, we leave further analysis along that line to the experts, only appealing to them that time-reversal effects must also be considered.

      [Emphasis mine]

      And that is just scratching the surface, here: http://www.greaterthings.com/News/Tilley/how/bob_colvin_bearden.htm [greaterthings.com] ... that is, before the author gets into the whole "Big Energy is going to buy us and silence us or kill us!"

  • by Chairboy (88841) on Saturday January 30, 2010 @01:55PM (#30964380) Homepage

    Well, he figured if he was going to scam folks, why not scam folks in style?

  • by rudy_wayne (414635) on Saturday January 30, 2010 @02:36PM (#30964710)
    The first sentence cracked me up:

    "Those of you who have been in the Free Energy community for years have heard of Carl Tilley and his claim to have a battery charger technology that could keep a system running indefinitely, though in fact he stole the technology"

    OH NO!! He stole imaginary technology!!

    I remember following this story back in 2002 and there was a report of Carl Tilley being hampered by a lawsuit -- some other guy was claiming that *HE* invented the imaginary perpetual motion battery charging technology.
  • They should have convinced people that they could move out of the dirty city and into the country. Then, they should have overbuilt the country to the point where it no longer had any rural character, thus negating the first part but requiring them to take long train rides into the cities they moved out of. Then they should have bought up the trains and closed them down, forcing them all to drive cars. Then after a while they could rebuild the trains; but this time at a much greater cost since the lines w

  • Captured by the Long Arm of the Law... ... of Thermodynamics.

    I'm still trying to think of the equivalent voice over that's at the beginning of each episode of COPS, "COPS is filmed on location with the men and women of law enforcement. All suspects are innocent until proven guilty in a court of law."

  • by Opportunist (166417) on Saturday January 30, 2010 @03:51PM (#30965344)

    Ever tried to get funding for something? You'd be amazed how little investors know about your project. How little they actually want to know. Confront them with the technical side and their eyes will glaze over before you're halfway through. They don't care.

    Make wild promises and call it revolutionary technology, then break directly to investment plan and projected revenue, and you're set. I'm not kidding here. They'd invest in a machine that turns shit into meat if you make it sound halfway scientific (use cyanobacteria you genetically engineered with a retrovirus, that's 3 hard to spell words that kinda sound like they could sorta do the trick), but don't spend more than 5 minutes with the technical side, then go immediately to the part where you promise them lots of riches.

  • when Tilley told his shareholders in May of 2002 that GE had offered $2 billion 'sight unseen' to buy out the technology.

          The man was clearly a visionary. After all, the US government has handed out billions of dollars to SOME companies (cough GM, AIG, Citi, Fannie and Freddie) "sight unseen"... so it DOES happen!

  • Ob (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Hognoxious (631665) on Saturday January 30, 2010 @04:03PM (#30965448) Homepage Journal

    [mode = evangelical german christian with 98 kids] Who are we to say that perpetual motion is impossible? Thermodynamic laws are just theories, like evolution and gravity.[/]

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by thue (121682)

      I do actually consider it a possiblity that some new breakthrough at CERN will come up with a better understanding, which shows that for example the conservation of energy does not always hold. Like when most people though physics was pretty much understood and Newton's laws of motion were the absolute and final truth, until Einstein came along and showed them to be only an approximation. In that sense, the laws of thermodynamics are very much a "just a theory". [disclaimer: IANAP]

      But I am quite sure no suc

  • Perpetual Scam (Score:2, Interesting)

    by edibobb (113989)
    It makes you wonder how many times over the past 150 years people have been suckered into investing in machines that (allegedly) violate the law: energy can be neither created nor destroyed.
    • by master_p (608214)

      And the thing keeps going on and on...today Steorn was supposed to showcase their overunity device.

  • His long running scam is no less criminal.
  • The Tilley Foundation was supposed to go into production with an electric bike on July 4, 2004, but it did not materialize. I'm shocked. The Aptera 2e is going to be available in 2009. No, wait... The Corbin Sparrow went into production (sold 285 and went out of business). The Solus International KD08E COCO is available (it can only go 25mph). My liege, the list is long and the batteries still sucketh.
  • by aepervius (535155) on Sunday January 31, 2010 @11:33AM (#30971010)
    I mean, just look at steorn.com ! Those guy preetnd to have 3 time OU. They are also pretending to demonstrate since 1/2 december. You think they would have a comprehensive evidence by now ? Think again. And look at the freaking FOLLOWING like a cult they got. Remmember Dennis lee ? Remmember the other scammer like Lutec ? Scam there are a dozen out there. Start by the billion dollard homeopathy industry (motto: selling sugar pills to the gullible since 1886).

Building translators is good clean fun. -- T. Cheatham

Working...