American Greed Episode 78: Greedy Groovy Guru / Doomsday Profit

Case File

Greedy Groovy Guru / Doomsday Profit

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. She draws in some 2000 victims but when the F.B.I. finds out about Cladek's scam, this greedster doesn't have a prayer. And, civilization is on the verge of collapse, Ronnie Gene Wilson tells his followers, and the only path to a secure future is paved with investment in precious metals. But for a guy who predicts the imminent demise of the dollar, this South Carolinian certainly seems greedy for greenbacks. He takes in $93 million. Over time, investors realize that Wilson isn't investing their money in metal, but using it to build a luxurious doomsday bunker complete with an organic farm.

  • By: Divya J. Verma, Special to

    If you are a veteran or a service member, there are several free resources available to protect you and your families from fraud and to help those who have been victimized.


  • U.S. Hero Scammed

    When Staff Sergeant Kevin Crowell returns from Iraq, he struggles to deal with getting back to everyday life.

  • Silver Salvation

    Fraudster Ron Wilson is a trusted member of his South Carolina community where he serves as a County Councilman, and a silver dealer.

  • Charity Windfall

    Lydia Cladek uses other people's money to buy goodwill by giving it away to charity.

  • The Crooked Accomplice

    Financial Advisor Wallace Lindsay Howell directs clients into Ron Wilson's fraud, and then steals their profits!


  • By: Public Domain

    The methods Ron Wilson used to snare investors are laid out in the complaint filed by South Carolina’s Securities Commissioner at the time.

  • By: Public Domain

    Lydia Cladek lived a well on other people's money. The details of her scheme were presented to the U.S. District Court in Florida.