American Greed: Season 2

Confessions of a Con Man Evidence Files


A Television Commercial Producer Goes Bad

In 1996, Eric Stein produced television commercials for twenty-dollar gadgets. He met telemarketers who gave him an idea that changed his life. By 1997, Stein became the founder of the Sterling Group, a millionaire and the mastermind of one of Nevada's largest scams. (Source: Public Record)

A Target

Tom Bondowski was a Wisconsin construction sales manager who was approached by a Sterling Group telemarketer. He was told him that his investment would be used to buy air time advertising $20 items and 50% return within 90 days after products sell from the commercials. Bondowski lost $80,000. (Source: KP)

The Upset

Another victim, Kenneth Dymmel, a California audio-visual businessman, invested his retirement plan and was expecting $225,000 in 90 days. He came to find no money at the end of his rainbow. (Source: KP)

The Investigation Begins

After receiving phone calls from people stating that they have been hoodwinked by the Sterling Group, Investigator Mark Medina of the Nevada Secretary of State Securities Division met with Eric Stein. Medina was not convinced that the Sterling Group was a legitimate business and started an investigation. (Source: KP)

Medina Calls for Help

U.S. Postal Inspector Marie Timms and FBI Agent Vicki Correia worked with Investigator Mark Medina to launch a full investigation into the Stein case. They discover that the Sterling Group only generated approximately $27,000 in sales. Together they collected documents and interviewed victims. (Source: KP)

Stein on the Run

Shortly after the investigation began, Stein fled to California, lost about 40 lbs., cut his hair and changed the color to blond. After being reported on America's Most Wanted and captured by Investigator Medina. Stein pleaded guilty to all charges including mail fraud, conspiracy and money laundering. Stein spends three years in Las Vegas County jails and the remainder of his 8-year sentence in federal prison. (Chula Vista, CA Police Department)