When you think of high-growth companies, you probably don’t think of life insurance. But Equity Funding Corporation of America was the exception. The company reported strong growth for nearly a decade, culminating in a record profit in 1973.

But just a few weeks later the firm imploded. It seems the company wrote insurance policies for people who didn’t exist, and it wrote so many fake policies that the fraud wouldn’t have been possible but for a relatively new invention: the computer.