The farmers who sold options (read: lost 100% control) on their land for $x per acre have become accomplices in their own scam.
You can’t beat (con) an honest man.
- someone who swindles you through deception or fraud. Synonyms include fraudster, con artist, cheater, confidence man, scammer, hustler, swindler, etc. Urban Dictionary
- a practitioner of confidence tricks Wikipedia
Confidence artist: an individual operating alone or in concert with others who exploits characteristics of the human psyche such as dishonesty and honesty, vanity, compassion, credulity, irresponsibility, naivety and greed.
The Sting is a 1973 American caper comedy film set in September 1936 that involves a complicated plot by two professional grifters (Paul Newman and Robert Redford) to con a mob boss (Robert Shaw). Wikidpedia