American Greed Episode 70: The Prisoner of Wall Street

Case File

The Prisoner of Wall Street

  • 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. While in prison, he started yet another scam. This time his victims were fellow prisoners and their families. Many took second mortgages on their homes to fund Griggs' fraud. When Griggs was paroled, he and his wife disappeared, but when their stolen money ran out the Feds stepped in and Perry Griggs was sentenced to federal prison, again.


  • It's worth considering one study that argues spending time in prison actually helps a person increase their earnings power from criminal activity.

  • Brewing a Pot of Gold

    In less than three years, Perry Griggs raked in more than $4 million from friends and neighbors who thought they were handing their life savings to a trusted member of the community.

  • Investing In Prison

    With Perry Griggs shipped off to prison for eight years, federal agents think the conman is finally done in, but his biggest crime is yet to come. FBI Special Agent, Tom Simon explains the details of Griggs' Hawaiian fraud.

  • Creating a Legend

    FBI Agent Tom Simon explains how prisoners can easily create a fake persona while locked up.

  • Who's Gonna Protect You?

    Former Secret Service Agent John Waugh calls Perry Griggs a sociopath and explains why.

  • Perry Griggs' co-conspirator Kapua Keolanui writes from prison about her crimes.