American Greed Episode 10: Stealing $$$ from Scientologists | The Art of Fraud

Stealing $$$ From Scientologists & The Art of Fraud

Case 1: Stealing $$$ from Scientologists

  • A Higher Calling
  • He was a Scientology minister. But, Reed Slatkin left the church for a more lucrative career of crime. Operating as a trader out of his garage, Slatkin claims to have devised a system to gain above market returns.
  • The Clients
  • It's the 'A" list. Hollywood filmmakers. Santa Barbara socialites. Wealthy corporate leaders. The rich and famous believe Slatkin is a savvy investment advisor. They give him cash but Slatkin takes more than just their money.
  • The Scam
  • The lie is over. The truth is out. Slatkin confesses to operating one of the nation's largest Ponzi schemes pulling in more than $600 million from his investors. American Greed profiles his crimes and the investigators who brought him to justice.

Case 2: The Art of Fraud

  • The Crime
  • Los Angeles, California. Home to the rich and famous....and those who hope to be. Art Dealer Dr. Vilas Lilkhite preys on wealthy friends and acquaintances. Worthless goods are sold as valuable art treasures. Police are suspicious.
  • The Setup
  • A high powered meeting is arranged. Two cops posing as businessmen want to buy famous artistic treasures. Likhite is the seller...a convicted criminal police believe will strike again. The con man is set up for a con.
  • Covert Ops
  • Hidden cameras are in place. Detectives listen in from the next room. Likhite claims he's selling part of a billion dollar collection. Police believe the goods are fake. The sting operation uncovers the truth!

Web Extras

  • Slatkin's New Career

    A religious man leads a deceptive life and scams investors out of more than $600 million! The rise and fall of Scientologist minister Reed Slatkin is a story of "American Greed."

  • Stealing $$$ From Scientologists

    See how investor Jay Sedrish describes a visit with investment advisor, Reed Slatkin, during the early years of the Ponzi scheme.

  • A Doctor's Fall

    Enter the mysterious world of art fraud. An elaborate sting operation exposes Dr. Vilas Likhite....a doctor stripped of his medical license who begins a new career as a con man selling fake art treasures!

  • Exclusive Undercover Video

    See more of the LAPD undercover sting operation that led to Vilas Likhiteâ??s arrest.

  • Could Vilas Con You?

    During the sting, Vilas Likhiteâ??s demeanor is friendly and casually disarming. More from the LAPD's undercover sing operation.

  • Protect Yourself!

    Tips to protect yourself from becoming a victim of art fraud.

  • Reed Slatkin drew up fake statements, like this one, to show his investments are overseas in the fictitious NAA Financial brokerage firm.

  • Vilas Likhite presented Certificates of Authenticity, such as this one, to his potential buyers.