American Greed Episode 49: The Wizard of Sarasota

Case File

The Wizard of Sarasota

  • The Hedge Fund Manager
  • Art Nadel is a smart, talented hedge fund manager. But Nadel has a shady past. After running into legal trouble in New York, he relocates to Sarasota --- home to some of the country's wealthiest elite.
  • The Wizard of Sarasota
  • Nadel is desperate for success. He meets and marries Peg Quisenberry, a former Vogue model and influential figure in Sarasota's philanthropic circles. Together they start a day-trading club. Nadel's little business begins attracting big money!
  • The Scam
  • Investors sign up. The Wizard of Sarasota seems to defy the odds… conjuring big returns even in down markets. But in reality, Nadel's trades are losing money. To cover his incompetence, Nadel creates fictitious returns and inflated investor statements.
  • The Vanishing Act
  • On January 14th, 2009, Art Nadel packs his briefcase, loads it into his late-model Subaru and heads off to work. He leaves a suicide note for his wife. His family panics and calls the police. Nadel has vanished…along with $330 million of his clients' money!

Web Extras

  • American Greed: The Wizard of Sarasota

    Arthur Nadel conjures a $330 million hedge fund. In the blink of an eye, he disappears and leaves clients without their life savings. American Greed profiles a multi-million dollar Ponzi scheme!

  • South Florida attorney Scott Rothstein was the mastermind behind the biggest Ponzi scheme in that state's  history. Known for his lavish spending and charitable contributions, Rothstein also helped raise money for 2008 Presidential hopeful John McCain.In June of 2010, he received a 50-year prison sentence for running a $1.2 billion investment scam through his firm Rothstein Rosenfeldt Adler. Rothstein said he didn't deserve more than 30 years because he pleaded guilty, spilled his guts to the fe

    Here, we take a look at some of the most notable Ponzi scheme scams to come to light since the Bernard Madoff case.

  • American Greed: The Wizard of Sarasota

    Arthur Nadel's bookkeeper, Shelly Bell, reads the handwritten note he left for his wife.

  • American Greed: Arthur Nadel

    Investor attorney Morgan Bentley talks about the victims in this case.

  • American Greed: Art Nadel's Ponzi Scheme

    Attorney Morgan Bentley describes clawbacks and the stress they put on investors.

  • The suicide note Arthur Nadel left for his wife before disappearing. (Source: Public Domain)

  • Arthur Nadel’s handwritten letter to investors, faxed to his wife during his disappearance. (Source: Public Domain)

  • Arthur Nadel writes about what possessed him to commit this crime. (Source: Arthur Nadel)