CNBC's unprecedented original primetime series, "American Greed," focuses on how greed change's people's lives and proves people will do anything for money.
1/07/09 - Episode 17:The Bonnie and Clyde of Mortgage Fraud (re-airs again 1/11/09) : Matthew Bevan Cox, one of the most prolific mortgage fraud con artists of all time, speaks from a federal prison in Florida. Cox's mile-a-minute speaking style and natural salesmanship attracted three different "Bonnies" – young, beautiful women – to become sidekicks to this Clyde Barrow of mortgage fraud.
1/14/09 - Episode 18: Boy Band Bandit: Lou Pearlman's 500 million Ponzi (re-airs again 1/18/09): Lou Pearlman, known as the "boy band mogul" behind Backstreet Boys and *NSYNC, used his music business success to attract money into his fraudulent investment program. Investors were blinded by Lou's fame and fortune, allowing him to steal hundreds of millions of dollars from elderly retirees, savvy businessmen, and even his own friends.
1/21/09 - Episode 19: Hazardous Healthcare: A Wall Street Wonder Takes a Fall - Richard Scrushy (re-airs on 1/25/09): Former HealthSouth CEO Richard Scrushy's dramatic story of corporate fame, power, money and alleged corruption is an all-too-familiar tale in wake of our current economic crisis. Almost one year to the day after his acquittal on charges ranging from securities fraud to conspiracy, Scrushy was convicted of bribing a public official.
1/28/09 - Episode 20: Two Brothers, Two Murders: The Kissel Case (re-airs on 2/1/09): The murders of the Kissel brothers and the ensuing sensational cases highlighting money, sex and power made headlines around the world. It's one of those tragic stories that gets under your skin and nags with the unanswered question…Why?
2/4/09 - Episode21: Skin Doctor Takes His Cut/Revolutionary Guru of Greed (re-airs on 2/8/09): Dermatologist Michael Rosin's was convicted of performing dozens of unnecessary and invasive skin cancer surgeries on his patients – most elderly, retirees to Florida's west coast. Rosin's patients came from a generation that trusted their doctors and his fraud could have continued unchecked if it weren't for a fiery redhead named Ellen Murray.
Revolutionary Guru of Greed
Marc Harris claimed he was a 'true believer," a self-stated enemy of the IRS, and promised his investors that he would legally bury their income offshore by using money management techniques employed by the rich and famous. Instead, he used new money coming in to pay off anyone who wanted money back in a classic Ponzi scheme.
2/11/09 - Episode 22: A Scam Exposed: Strippers and Insider Trading/ Economan: Superthief! (re-airs on 2/15/09): David Pajcin was a young Wall Street broker who wanted to get rich. Together with fellow broker Gene Plotkin, Pajcin went on to mastermind a complex insider trading scheme that reaped nearly $7 million in profits.
Al Parish, who went by the "economan" alter ego, isn't like most conmen. Sure, he bought jewels, cars and a large home, but an inventory of the remainder – the diamond-encrusted Mont Blanc pens, the $35,000 rabbit statue in Parish's front yard, and the sixteen clown paintings by comedian Redd Skelton & custom suits to match – might make some people say, "Huh?"
2/18/09 - Episode 23: The Mustang Ranch: Money, Women and Murder (re-airs on 2/22/09): During its nearly 30+year history, the country's first legalized brothel has been burned to the ground, rebuilt, shuttered by the IRS, auctioned off on eBay and uprooted to a different location. It's original owner, Joe Conforte, remains a fugitive, living in a lavish Rio de Janeiro penthouse off money the U.S. government says belongs to it.
2/25/08 - Episode 24: The Body Snatcher: Frank Mastromarino robs the dead: From a secret room in a funeral home, a former dentist named Michael Mastromarino and a gang of men he called "cutters" ripped open bodies, stripped them for valuable skin and bone and tendons, and sold the parts to biotech companies for use in surgery. To Mastromarino, it didn't matter – they were dead – but he failed to consider the living, including victims' families and recipients of tainted body parts.