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American Greed: Scams, Scoundrels and Scandals

American Greed: Scams, Scoundrels and Scandals

  • Premiered: 
    June 21, 2007
    (Click date to see TV listings for that day)

  • Network: CNBC
  • Category: Series
  • Genre: Documentary
  • Type: Live Action
  • Concept: 
  • Subject Matter: Crime
  • Tags: business, finance

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Plot Synopsis

Examining the dark side of the American Dream, AMERICAN GREED documents the lives and crimes of people who were responsible for the biggest scams and schemes in America. Episodes for Season 6, starting in January 2012, highlight: Kenneth Ira Starr, a money manager who courted celebrity clients like Sylvester Stallone, Uma Thurman and Wesley Snipes and steals $30 million to buy a new Hollywood lifestyle -- all in the name of love; Carlos Perez-Olivo, a successful lawyer who was disbarred for fleecing desperate clients but found another way to feed his greed; Van Thu Tran, a sexy Vietnamese-American who made millions in casinos using one of the oldest tricks in the book -- with a new high tech twist; and many more greedy, white-collar criminals.

AMERICAN GREED returned for its seventh season on Thursday, February 21, 2013 at 10pm ET with "Shipwrecked," an episode featuring Michael Vorce, a twentysomething playboy in Grand Rapids, Michigan, who supposedly made millions buying and selling luxury yachts.

On Thursday, January 15, 2015 at 10pm ET/PT, CNBC premiered the ninth season of AMERICAN GREED. The season opener featured Joseph Romano and his brothers who ran a massive $60 million rare coin con. When they're caught after Joe receives a stiff sentence, he is enraged and embarks on a grisly revenge plan, hiring a hit man to murder the federal judge and prosecutor who put him away. AMERICAN GREED returned for the rest of its ninth season on Friday, July 10, 2015 at 10pm ET/PT on CNBC. In the season opener, "Kevin Trudeau's Secrets; Remington Steal," the FTC fines infomercial kingpin Kevin Trudeau $37.6 million for all of his get-rich-quick schemes, but he claims he's flat broke. Then, Remington Financial Group's 'advance fee' scam has cost small business owners their dreams and millions of dollars.

A new season of AMERICAN GREED premiered on Thursday, March 31, 2016 at 10pm ET/PT on CNBC. The season opener, "Ray Nagin: New Orleans Shakedown," chronicles the life of the disgraced former mayor who exploited the tragedy of Hurricane Katrina to pocket bribes and live large.

AMERICAN GREED returned for a 20-episode eleventh season on Monday, January 23, 2017 at 10pm ET/PT on CNBC, two days later than originally scheduled. In the season opener, "Deadly Gold Digger," sexy femme fatale Nanette Johnston Packard has a way of getting men to do what she wants. She even places a personal ad looking for rich men saying, "If you take care of me, I'll take care of you." When Nanette meets multi-millionaire divorcee Bill McLaughlin, she sets her trap. She convinces her boyfriend, former NFL football player Eric Naposki, to break into the home she shares with McLaughlin to kill him so they can collect her inheritance and his life insurance money to start a life together. But even that doesn't last, and almost seventeen years later, Naposki and Packard go on trial for murder. After a three-month break, Season 11 of AMERICAN GREED returned with new episodes on Monday, June 19, 2017 at 10pm ET/PT on CNBC. In the mid-season premiere, "Recipe for Murder," a successful businesswoman is targeted by a serial gifter who poisons her for money.

On Monday, February 26, 2018 at 10pm ET/PT, CNBC premiered "The Most Hated Man in America," the Season 12 premiere of AMERICAN GREED. Martin Shkreli jacks the price of a life-saving drug 5000%, but it's his shady accounting and internet trolling that lands the 'Pharma Bro' in hot water. After a 1.5-month break, AMERICAN GREED returned with new episodes on Monday, August 13, 2018 at 10pm ET/PT on CNBC. In the summer premiere, "Operation Crook, Line and Stinker," a crooked New York City cop protects and serves himself, cashing in as a high-tech burglary crew terrorizes homes and businesses.

Season 13 of AMERICAN GREED premiered on Monday, August 12, 2019 at 10pm ET/PT on CNBC. The new season continues to examine the dark side of the American dream, unveiling scandalous stories of massive fraud by criminals motivated by greed -- from the disastrous Fyre Festival, to Paul Manafort's fraud, to the college admissions scam. In the season opener, "The College Admissions Scandal," college admissions coach Rick Singer accepts money from parents to have their kids admitted to elite colleges.

CNBC premiered the fourteenth season of AMERICAN GREED on Monday, January 18, 2021 at 10pm ET/PT with 12 all-new ripped-from-the-headlines stories narrated by Stacy Keach. The season opener, "The Trials of Michael Avenatti," chronicles the rise and fall of the flashy litigator who burst onto the scene in 2018, representing porn star Stormy Daniels in her dispute with President Donald Trump. What Avenatti's fans at the time don't know is that he has legal troubles of his own brewing - with allegations of crimes ranging from fraud to tax evasion. Still, he continues to dominate the airwaves and build support on social media -until a brazen scheme to extort sportswear giant Nike brings his publicity tour to an abrupt end. Other episodes this season feature enigmatic self-help guru Keith Raniere ("Nightmare at NXIVM"); disgraced surgeon Christopher Duntsch ("The Real Dr. Death"); former Insys Therapeutics chairman John Kapoor ("The Fall of an Opioid Mogul"); the shocking disappearance of the McStay family ("A Family Vanishes"); and online schemers who exploit everyday Americans' charitable impulses to rake in cold, hard cash ("Social Media Scam Artists"). After a 3.5-month break, AMERICAN GREED returned with new Season 14 episodes on Monday, June 7, 2021. In the summer premiere, "Inside El Chapo's Empire," few are familiar with the betrayal that helped land Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman Loera, billionaire drug lord and for years the world's most wanted man, in prison; the Flores twins earned El Chapo's trust and then helped the Feds put him away for life.

Season 15 of AMERICAN GREED debuted on Wednesday, January 5, 2022 at 10pm ET/PT on CBNC. The season opener, "The Life & Crimes of Joel Greenberg," follows the tale of a privileged millennial from a rich Florida family, Joel Greenberg, who one day decides to run for Seminole County Tax Collector -- and wins. But once in office he embarks on a breathtaking series of crimes, ranging from fraud to sex trafficking. Eventually the Feds set their sights on him -- and it quickly becomes clear that his case may be bigger and stranger than anyone had imagined. CNBC marks the 200th episode of AMERICAN GREED one week later on January 12 at 10pm ET/PT, with one of the most infamous alleged corporate fraud cases of the 21st century: Theranos, now back in the news with the high-profile trial of founder and former CEO Elizabeth Holmes ("Theranos CEO on Trial"). Additional ripped-from-the-headlines stories featured this season include a look inside the astonishing rise and near-collapse of WeWork ("How WeWork Went Wild"); the investigation into how two brand-new Boeing 737 Max jets fell out of the sky five months apart and killed 346 people ("Boeing's Deadly Design"); the man accused of being one of the biggest thieves the world has ever seen, Jho Low ("The Biggest Theft of All Time?"); and the stunning story of a suburban Eagle Scout turned Dark Web drug lord, Aaron Shamo ("The Kingpin Next Door").

After a 10-month break, AMERICAN GREEN returned with new episodes on Tuesday, September 27, 2022 at 10pm ET/PT on CNBC. Kicking off with "The Polygamist & The Bio Fuel Baron," which follows Jacob Kingston, a CEO who appears to be a rising star in Utah's fledgling biofuel industry, until a member of a secretive polygamist group called The Order reveals that Kingston, one of the group's prominent members, is committing a 1.1 billion-dollar fraud with a flashy, Bugatti-driving Los Angeles fuel baron known as The Lion. Additional stories this season include a 2-part special episode on the charges of a decade-spanning multimillion dollar fraud against prominent South Carolina attorney Alex Murdaugh ("Murdaugh Murder Mystery"); a couple that stand accused of laundering billions of dollars' worth of Bitcoin in one of cryptocurrency's most notorious heists "The Crocodiles of Wall Street"); the charismatic con-man Antonio Mariot Wilson, who fleeces unsuspecting investors, including television star Jenifer Lewis ("Financial Infidelity"); the founder of the electric vehicle company Nikola, Trevor Milton, who sold investors "an ocean of lies" ("Chasing Tesla"); the Ayvazyans, a seasoned family of fraudsters who easily grab millions of dollars in COVID relief funds ("COVID Cons"); former Mississippi Department of Corrections Commissioner, Chris Epps, who charms his way up the ladder while siphoning kickbacks and bribes from prison contracts ("Million Dollar Prison Kickback"); Garrison Courtney, who infiltrates Washington's intelligence circles where he collects millions with his tales of running a top-secret national security operation for the CIA ("The Spy Who Conned Me"); and more.
On Tuesday, December 20, 2022 at 10pm ET/PT, CNBC premiered "The Busted Mogul," the season finale of AMERICAN GREED. Lobsang Dargey, a Tibetan Buddhist Monk, escapes Chinese oppression and claws his way to freedom in the U.S.; uneducated and broke, but rich with ambition, Dargey catapults from odd jobs to real estate development.


Production & Distribution

  • Produced by Kurtis Productions