Millionaire playboy and girlfriend of a Hollywood starlet scams investors with a phony connection to the Pope. His image soon will be shattered when he is revealed as a con man when a multi-million dollar fraud is exposed.
Steven Warshak makes millions by selling an erectile dysfunction drug racking up illegal credit card charges on thousands of customers; and a financial advisor to pro sports stars multi-million dollar scam ends in his own death.
American Greed looks at Bernie Madoff the mastermind behind the biggest Ponzi scheme in American history. After confessing to his crimes, he is sentenced to 150 years in prison. He takes up residence at Butner Prison in North Carolina where some prisoners treat him surprisingly well.
A slaughterhouse employs hundreds of workers in a small Iowa town. But there are whispers of threats, extortion and shocking child labor abuses. Sholom Rubashkin runs the family business. Is he a dutiful son or a corporate crook?
Billionaire Tom Petters was a respected CEO for more than a decade. His companies included iconic American brands like Polaroid, Sun Country Airlines, and Fingerhut. But these legitimate businesses were purchased with dirty money...and his reputation was built on a foundation of lies.
He's dubbed Long Island, New York's "Mini-Madoff." Nicholas Cosmo promised huge returns on booming real estate opportunities. He brought white-collar crime to blue-collar Americans and scammed thousands of trusting investors.
With a long career in real estate, many thought broker Doug Vaughan was a man to be trusted. His charisma helped make him a fortune in New Mexico real estate...but it was all lies. He funded his luxurious lifestyle with $75 million of investors' money. After investigators stepped in and arrested him, he went on TV in search of money to pay for his defense.
Michael Lock was a man driven by ambition. He was a Milwaukee crime boss with a business model that took him from cocaine dealing to bank fraud...and Lock had a surefire way to beat the competition. American Greed takes you inside a deadly tale of greed.
Solomon Dwek was a real estate mogul, philanthropist...and an expert flimflammer. He was the mastermind behind a multi-million dollar real estate scam and bank fraud. But when Dwek's luck runs out, he becomes an informant in the biggest case of corruption and greed in New Jersey history.
Randy Treadwell is the son of a preacher but leaves the righteous path. Claiming he's a financial wizard, he uses his Southern charm to bilk believers out of nearly $65 million. His scams have legitimate sounding names like "Learn Waterhouse" and "The Wealth Builders Club," which promise huge returns for short-term investments. See how the FBI finally brings him to justice.
Jack Walsh and Charles Martin appear to be getting very rich running a Chicago currency trading brokerage. But an audit reveals that they've been pilfering clients' accounts to the tune of $10 million. Their outrageous spending even included $1 million at a single strip club. Then, in "Miami Burn"...a trusted tax advisor lures his best friends into an investment scheme that bleeds them dry.
Trevor Cook seems to be a local boy made good in Minneapolis, running an investment fund. Cook and his cohorts solicit $190 million from 700 investors, many of whom were swayed by a talk radio star. The investors think the money is going into securities but will be shocked to see how Trevor and his boys blow their hard-earned savings...turning a historic mansion into a den of debauchery.
A Brooklyn investment manager starts the longest running Ponzi scheme in history. Philip Barry runs his scam from Bay Ridge, a solid working-class neighborhood where families go back generations. Through local connections, Barry pulls more than 800 investors into a $40 million scheme by offering "guaranteed returns" on investments. He tells his story exclusively to AMERICAN GREED from prison.
First, a New Age evangelist becomes a greedy, groovy, guru, telling investors that positive thinking can lead to positive returns. But this false prophet is returning nothing but false profits in her $113 million scam. Then...civilization is on the verge of collapse, Ronnie Gene Wilson tells his followers, and the only path to a secure future is investing in precious metals.
A Florida man wins a $13 million Lottery payout and gives away much of it to strangers in need. After businesswoman Dee Dee Moore takes over his finances to protect his wealth, the millionaire disappears. Did she want to help him or help herself to Abraham Shakespeare's millions? Watch how the police hatch an outrageous undercover sting to catch "The Lady Killer."
Michael McCant is a former bank robber who says he's gone "legit" and is now making millions by promoting up-and-coming rap musicians. McCant solicits money from individual investors, promising 30% returns on investment in his concert promotion business. Some investors give McCant their entire nest eggs but learn the hard way that this former convict is too illegit to quit...his life of crime.
Ex-New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin exploits the tragedy of Hurricane Katrina by accepting bribes and corrupting the rebuilding efforts in the Big Easy. Nagin is accused of bilking the devastated city out of an estimated $500,000, taking expensive trips in private jets for him and his family, and orchestrating an exclusive granite contract for his son's company. He is convicted and is serving 10 years in federal prison.
Jason Derek Brown looks like a wealthy mellow surfer dude, but he's allegedly a stone-cold killer who shoots a security guard five times in the head to steal $56,000 in cash. Authorities say Brown robs an armored car guard to fuel his corrupt playboy lifestyle. This serial con artist leads the FBI on a heart-pumping chase over several western states, and lands on the FBI's Most Wanted list.
When financial fraudster Paul Kruse propositions his assistant's teenage daughter, this angry mom gets revenge and him behind bars. But will this whistleblower survive Kruse's sinister murder-for-hire plot?
Luxury car salesman and reality TV star Bobby Khan is accused of pocketing car loans and selling cars that aren't his. And Paul Ceglia, who once hired Mark Zuckerberg, claims to own half of Facebook and says he has the contract to prove it. But is it legitimate?
With two yachts, his own private jet, and a lakeside mega-mansion, Darren Berg scams some of Seattle's savviest investors. And, New York socialite Dina Wein Reis bilks companies out of millions in a grey market selling scheme.
The anonymous mastermind of the world's biggest online and underground drug bazaar calls himself the "Dread Pirate Roberts." But in unmasking this criminal, will federal agents find that some of their own have been corrupted by greed?
A sex trafficking ring comprised of violent pimps who exploit women enlists a Chicago dentist to launder their money, and in upstate New York an elderly rural bachelor is robbed of his valuable vintage comic books collection.
A famous Texas fruitcake bakery's $50,000 a year accountant, Sandy Jenkins, cooks up a $16 million check writing scam spending spree. A self-proclaimed financial wiz, Gregory Loles, rips off investors while he funds a professional race team with money stolen from his church.