In the San Francisco Bay Area, 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. But these millions are coming from investors like Bernice Tingle who have given McCant their entire nest eggs.
A Florida man hits it big when he takes home almost $13 million in a Florida lottery jackpot. Instead of living large, Abraham Shakespeare gives away most of his money to people in his community. So when Dee Dee Moore offers to help manage his winnings, it's a welcome relief for Shakespeare. But what seems like a helping hand turns out to be a hand helping herself and Shakespeare ends up paying a deadly price.
A New Age evangelist becomes a greedy, groovy, guru telling Florida investors that positive thinking can lead to positive returns in her auto financing business. But this false prophet is returning nothing but false profits in her $113 million scam.
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 offering "guaranteed returns" on investments.
Trevor Cook appears to be a local boy made good in Minneapolis, where he runs an investment fund called the Oxford Group. Along with three cohorts, Cook solicits an amazing $190 million dollars from 700 U.S. investors, many of whom heard his message through a talk radio star.
San Francisco entrepreneur Samuel "Mouli" Cohen starts an internet music company and fraudulently takes in $31 million from celebrities, investors, and a charity dedicated to help the poor. He claims they will make a fortune when his company is sold to Microsoft. But there is no deal.
In Chicago, Jack Walsh and Charles Martin appear to be getting very rich running a foreign currency trading brokerage. But is the money really coming from savvy trades? In 2007, a routine audit reveals some "irregularities" in One World's accounting.
The Sandhogs Local 147, a New York City construction union, whose workers build tunnels and underground passageways, entrusts Melissa King for overseeing union benefits to ensure their retirements. Instead, King uses the workers funds to cut herself checks to the tune of $42 million.
With a 30 year 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.
A trio of Texas con men scores $100 million, telling investors there's big money in the "life settlement" insurance biz. When the fraudsters fail to pay returns and keep the money for themselves, it all comes crashing down.
Perry Griggs ran an investment fraud claiming to sell coffee futures, when all he did was keep investor money. He was convicted of securities fraud and sentenced to eight years in federal prison.
Randy Treadwell, the son of a preacher, leaves the righteous path- claiming he's a financial wizard, but all he does is take investor money for himself and his crew. See how the FBI steps in with a hidden camera investigation to hear all of Treadwell's lies and bring him to justice.
Michael Vorce is a twenty-something playboy living it up in Grand Rapids, Michigan. By all appearances Vorce makes millions buying and selling luxury yachts. And with all the boats he buys, he is able to borrow millions from banks. But when the loans come due, questions float to the surface, like 'Where are all the boats' and 'Where is all the money?'
The new season of American Greed premieres on an all-new night: Thursdays, starting February 21st on CNBC.