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Episode 33: Sexual Performance Pill | Kirk Wright

Case File

American Greed ¿ Episode 33
Steven Warshak makes millions by selling a product to enhance the sex lives of men. But he¿s also makes illegal credit card charges on thousands of customers. Plus the Kirk Wright investment fraud case that bilked millions out of former NFL football players.

Case 1: Sexual Performance Pill

  • Making Millions
  • Steve Warshak is an entrepreneur. He's persuasive with sharp business skills. Warshak forms Berkeley Nutraceuticals. He markets a new herbal product to enhance the sex lives of millions of men... without having to get a doctor's prescription.
  • Enzyte*
  • It's billed as the "once daily tablet for natural male enhancement." Enzyte appears to be the herbal answer to Viagra. Customers believe and Enzyte sales soar. Steven Warshak's supplement business brings in $250 million. But, Warshak wants more.
  • The Scam
  • Customers place orders for Enzyte and receive the unexpected. Extra shipments and extra charges are appearing on their credit cards. Complaints ring into the call center. Buyers request credits to their accounts. Warshak's sales tactics are a scam to entrap customers.
  • Illegal Billing
  • Complaints against Berkeley Nutraceuticals catch the attention of law enforcement. Federal authorities investigate. They believe Warshak and his top execs took $100 million without customers' consent by repeatedly billing their credit cards for refills they didn't order.

* Enzyte is still on the market. The product itself was never deemed harmful to consumers... just Berkeley's business practices. A new company called Vianda has purchased Enzyte.

Case 2: Kirk Wright

  • Hedge Fund Superstar
  • Atlanta hedge fund manager Kirk Wright is building a financial empire with his company, International Management Associates. Wright produces astronomical returns on investments. The company attracts new investors.
  • The Clientele
  • His clients are doctors, professionals... and football players. He hires former Denver Defensive star Steve Atwater to recruit NFL players. They invest with IMA. Wright claims to have a secret recipe for stock market success. But, he won't tell investors what it is.
  • The Lifestyle
  • International Management Associates grows to $84 million under Kirk Wright's personal direction. He lavishes attention on investors and potential clients. He spends on himself too, buying a new house, Bentley, Jaguar and Aston Martin cars. But some clients are becoming wary of Wright.
  • End Game
  • IMA statements look good on paper, but the company is sustaining big losses. The staff demands answers. Wright gives investors the runaround. The football players realize they're being ripped off and Kirk Wright is about to get blitzed!

Web Extras

  • World's Top 10 Credit Card Issuers Tuesday, 13 Apr 2010 | 4:38 PM ET
    Since the first widely accepted plastic charge card was issued in 1958 by American Express, the use of credit cards has skyrocketed. In fact, at the end February, more than 576 million credit cards were in circulation* in the United States alone, with US consumers' revolving debt rising to $864.4 billion*** (98 percent of which is made up of credit card debt) as of January.The average American household with credit card debt at that time was carrying more than $16,000** at an average rate of 14.

    Since the first widely accepted plastic charge card was issued in 1958 by American Express, the use of credit cards has skyrocketed. Check out the world's top 10 credit card issuers.

  • National Heritage Life Insurance     Friday, 19 Mar 2010 | 12:01 AM ET

    Retired FBI agent Joe Judge recounts how the conspirators got control of National Heritage Life Insurance Company. Itâ??s a story of American Greed.

  • Protect Yourself From Billing Scams     Tuesday, 13 Apr 2010 | 12:00 AM ET

    How closely do you check your credit card statements? On an all new American Greed, CNBC goes inside a credit card billing scam that took $100 million from customers. CNBC's Tyler Mathisen shows what you need to know to avoid a billing scam.

  • Infamous Sports Scams Tuesday, 13 Apr 2010 | 1:24 PM ET
    William “Boots” Del Biaggio III was a hockey team owner skating on thin ice. His insatiable desire to be a sports mogul caused him to commit a multimillion-dollar fraud.Federal authorities accused Del Biaggio, a former Silicon Valley venture capitalist and part owner of the Nashville Predators hockey team, of defrauding investors and using the money to buy his $25 million stake in the professional sports team, according to The New York Times.The Securities and Exchange Commission said in a compl

    The lifestyle of a sports star may seem glamorous with money, cars, homes and parties but it has its down side. And sports stars can be easy targets for financial scams.

  • Insurance Investigation     Friday, 19 Mar 2010 | 12:02 AM ET

    Former Delaware Insurance Commissioner Donna Williams explains her teamâ??s remarkable success investigating the case of fraudster Sholam Weiss.

American Greed Showtimes

AMERICAN GREED MARATHON FRIDAY!
Friday, April 18th 12p – 6p ET
12p ET AG #79
The Lady Killer
1p ET AG #82
Young Lust Goes Bust
4p ET AG #81
Murder in Memphis
The Prisoner of Wall Street
Saturday, April 19th 1a, 3a ET/PT
$udden Death/ Hip Hop Hustle
Sunday, April 20th 1a, 3a ET/PT
Check the U.S. TV schedule for additional showtimes.
#AmericanGreed

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