Is it ever okay to break the rules? Cheat! is a weekly podcast hosted by award-winning journalist and comedian Alzo Slade that dives into the epic stories behind the biggest cheats and scandals out there, looking for answers about who they are and why they skirt the rules. From the allure of get rich quick schemes to the motivations of an imposter, Cheat! brings you stories of huge heists, online scams, dirty nuns, and asks what would you do if you could get away with it? A Somethin’ Else & Sony Music Entertainment production. Find more great podcasts from Sony Music Entertainment at To bring your brand to life in this podcast, email Learn more about your ad choices. Visit


February 7, 2023 40 min
Collector Marty Martin spent years finding and sourcing incredible ancient artifacts, which he shared with the world in his touring museum. From dinosaur bones to Egyptian hieroglyphic stones, Marty had it all. And when Marty finds a small, family-owned antique shop, specialising in the earliest years of human history, he thinks he’s struck gold. But some things? They’re just too good to be true. A Somethin’ Else & Sony Musi...
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Growing up in Dixon, Illinois, in the 90s, Li Arellano never understood why his town seemed to be crumbling, the streets were a mess, the library’s roof leaked, and the old downtown theater was an eyesore. It didn’t seem like it should’ve been that way— plenty of people in town seemed to do well for themselves. Especially Rita Crundwell. She owned hundreds of championship show horses that earned her ribbons and fancy belt buckles, ...
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January 31, 2023 1 min
Ever wondered why Tony Soprano’s therapist stuck with him? Why Fleabag is obsessed with sex or why Walter White is always in his underpants? ‘Shrink the Box’ is where actor comedian Ben Bailey Smith and psychotherapist Sasha Bates put their favourite fictional characters such as Shiv from Succession, Omar from the Wire and Ross from Friends on the couch to analyse why their behaviour causes them so much drama. Sasha and Ben explore...
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January 24, 2023 39 min
Caviar, those little salty fish eggs – are prized by foodies all over the world. The fish that produces caviar, sturgeon, has been struggling to survive in the wild...except in one place: Lake Winnebago, Wisconsin. There, fisheries biologists have set strict rules that limit how many sturgeon can be caught, and what happens to their eggs. Sturgeon eggs can either be kept and processed into caviar or donated to research. But the ...
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January 17, 2023 31 min
It's likely you've never heard of a pangolin - they're scaly mammals that look kind of like a cross between an artichoke and an anteater. But these elusive creatures have been trafficked to the point of becoming endangered. Why? In some countries, pangolins are coveted for their meat and scales, especially for use in traditional Chinese medicine. And as the demand for traditional medicine grows worldwide, so has demand ...
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January 10, 2023 37 min
When it comes to social media, there's no shortage of mental health content. And there's a growing number of influencers who are using their platforms to talk about mental health - that includes everything from diagnosing followers to what to expect in a psychiatric hospital. But not all of the information and advice that's being handed out is accurate. What qualifies someone to be an expert in mental wellbeing? And whe...
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January 3, 2023 35 min
Every spring, the best anglers in the Midwest converge on Lake Erie to try to catch the biggest Walleye and win tens of thousands of dollars in cash prizes. Competitive Walleye fishing is no joke — the fish are elusive and challenging to catch. It’s a very technical sport, that needs strategy, patience and lots and lots of lures. So, when two previously unremarkable fisherman start winning competition after competition, everyone...
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December 27, 2022 37 min
In 2007, two Iowa-born brothers launched an artisanal chocolate company, Mast Brothers, out of an apartment in Williamsburg, Brooklyn—the hipster heart of the growing farm-to-table movement. Mast quickly became a well-known operation, partly because their focus was on creating quality chocolate that only required two ingredients: cocoa beans and sugar. And these speciality bars—hand wrapped in expensive, beautifully designed pap...
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December 20, 2022 38 min
In the 1910s, the New York City Post Office was having trouble delivering children's letters addressed to Santa Claus. So every Christmas, thousands of letters went unanswered. Then in 1913, an charming businessman named John Duval Gluck, Jr. started a new charity, “The Santa Claus Association" to fix this problem. The organization was a group of volunteers who responded to children’s letters, and sent the neediest ones to ...
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December 13, 2022 34 min
In 1912, a British amateur archaeologist found fossils that would change the face of evolution. Charles Dawson claimed he had found the missing link - evidence that proved humans had evolved from apes.  The only problem? It was a complete hoax - one that went on for almost 40 years. What happens when we desperately want something to be true, even when science says it isn’t? A Somethin’ Else & Sony Music Entertainment prod...
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December 6, 2022 35 min
In the early 2000’s, a man called Ian Paterson was considered one of the best breast surgeons in England. He was a trusted and respected name within the British medical field. But when rumours start spreading about the ethics of Paterson’s practice, innocent patients are forced to pay the price. A Somethin’ Else & Sony Music Entertainment production. Find more great podcasts from Sony Music Entertainment at
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November 29, 2022 35 min
During the 19th and 20th centuries, the people who helped build and shape American society were some of history’s most notorious swindlers. Many of these scams still exist today - in some form or another.  Alzo sits down with Duke University Professor Edward Balleisen, author of “Fraud: An American History from Barnum to Madoff”, to dig into the relationship between American business and fraud. A Somethin’ Else & Sony Music...
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November 22, 2022 2 min
Hi Cheat! listeners, here's a podcast we think you'll love...Some people do extraordinary things to get rich but few come close to Big Spender. A criminal mastermind, he grew up poor in Hong Kong and obsessed with money. So, naturally, he decided to pull off the biggest crimes of their kind the world has ever seen, triggering a crisis which reshaped China for good. This is Bad Money, a show about how power and money really ...
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November 22, 2022 35 min
In 2016, over 100,000 Bitcoin were stolen from customers using the cryptocurrency exchange Bitfinex. The theft rattled the crypto world. At the time of the hack, Bitfinex was considered one of the most stable exchanges in the realm of virtual currency. And there wasn’t much that the company—or authorities—could do to retrieve the stolen coins. They sat in an anonymous wallet for years, accruing value. Millions turned into billions....
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November 15, 2022 34 min
Cheating usually takes the fun out of games. But with the rise of competitive gaming in the past decade, more people are willing to cheat – and are paying to do so. This is a story about Cheat Ninja, the biggest video game cheating operation that made millions by not playing by the rules. A Somethin’ Else & Sony Music Entertainment production.  Find more great podcasts from Sony Music Entertainment at
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November 8, 2022 42 min
The Church of Scientology has been the subject of public fascination, government investigations, movies, and books for as long as the organization has been around. But what might be less well-known is the Church’s longstanding feud with the Internal Revenue Service of the United States. After the IRS revoked the Church of Scientology’s tax exempt status in the 1960s, the Church, under L. Ron Hubbard’s leadership, launched an ela...
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November 1, 2022 33 min
Lotteries should be all about luck. But what if you could beat the odds? Would you do it? In 2010, Hot Lotto – a multi-state lottery game – featured an advertised prize of over $16 million. The owner of the winning ticket wanted to remain anonymous and claim the money to an off shore account. What happened next turned out to be the largest lottery scam in American history. A Somethin’ Else & Sony Music Entertainment producti...
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October 25, 2022 37 min
Koko is perhaps the world's most famous gorilla. She was known for her ability to communicate using thousands of signs and gestures taught to her by her caretaker, Francine "Penny" Patterson as part of a research project that spanned 40 years. KoKo captured the public imagination with the way she appeared to think and emote like a human. But as Koko’s fame grew, animal behavioral theorists started to have doubts about t...
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October 18, 2022 32 min
In 2013, beef burgers—and other products advertised as beef—that were sold across Europe were found to contain traces, and in some cases, substantial portions of horse and pig DNA. Turns out, this wasn't a labeling mistake. It was a perfect storm: a largely self-regulated industry combined with precarious economic conditions, which led to a food safety scandal that rocked the world. This incident would raise pressing questio...
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October 11, 2022 38 min
When Indian journalist Nidhi Razdan was tapped for a job as an associate professor at Harvard, she was overjoyed. She went through a full hiring process - resumes, interviews, recommendations, before receiving an offer. She quit her job and began preparing to move to the US. Then, one thing after another went wrong. Classes were delayed. Her housing wasn’t ready.  Turns out there was no job, and Razdan was the victim of a bizarr...
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