American Greed: "Fraudster at the Opera" and "Frozen Assets"
Case 1: Fraudster of the Opera
- The Money Manager
- Alberto Vilar is a noted money manager. Together with a partner, he opens an investment firm. By the mid-1990s, Amerindo Investment Advisors claims to manage nearly $2.8 billion in assets.
- The Philanthropist
- Vilar shares his wealth. He becomes a philanthropist and jet-setting patron of the arts. Over a period of several years, he pledges a staggering $200 million to operas around the world. But soon Vilar will be unable to honor many of those pledges.
- Risky Investments
- Vilar doesn't always invest funds as promised. Instead he puts money in risky high tech and biotech stocks. Vilar uses his charm to lure new, unsuspecting clients. For a while, his deception goes undetected.
- Reversal of Fortune
- A downturn in the tech market causes Vilar's net worth to plummet. To stay afloat he and his partner turn to fraud. They betray a so-called favorite client, Lily Cates, mother of actress Phoebe Cates. Lilly gives Vilar millions to invest. But Lily is putting her trust in the wrong man.
Case 2: Frozen Assets: The Ice Capers
- The Venture Capitalist
- William "Boots" Del Biaggio is a Silicon Valley success. He lives a lavish lifestyle complete with luxury homes, expensive cars and high-rolling gambling trips to Las Vegas. The hometown boy seems to have it all.
- The Hockey Team
- Del Biaggio is a smart and savvy businessman but his true passion is hockey. He's a minority owner in the San Jose Sharks. He enjoys the benefits – club seats, access to suites and meetings with the athletes. But "Boots" wants more.
- The Investment Opportunity
- Del Biaggio dreams of owning an NHL team. Opportunity knocks. He is asked to join a group of investors trying to buy the Nashville Predators. To get a piece of the action, he needs $25 million. There's one problem: Biaggio doesn't have the money.
- The Scam
- He devises a scheme to secure loans from creditors using falsified bank statements. How far will Del Biaggio go to realize his dream?