You know you've made it as a Ponzi schemer when even while you're locked up for Ponzi scheming you still manage to swindle your cellmates. FBI agents say Perry Griggs was that good (or bad, depending on your appreciation of the long con). He and his wife Rachelle Griggs, formerly of the Marysville/Everett area, are allegedly on the run after a four year Bonnie and Clyde style partnership that went across state lines and through state prison walls.
They've been on the lam since January.
The Griggs' family business is said to be Aloha Trading Co., a commodity dealing company that promised a big return on investments from clients.
A company profile on manta.com says it is a "private company categorized under Nondurable Goods, Nec and located in Las Vegas, NV. Current estimates show this company has an annual revenue of 77,000 and employs a staff of approximately 1."
The profile lists an address of 10190 Corbett Street Las Vegas, Nev., and a Google "Street View" shows that address belonging to a classic southwestern ranch-style mansion with a three car garage and ceramic tile roof.
It's this company that FBI agents say was nothing more than a front for the Griggs' scheme.
They allegedly took in investments, did some trading here and there (losing money nearly every time they did) and skimmed off the rest for themselves.
Perry spent much of 2005 to 2009 touring various prisons in Texas, California and Nevada after being convicted of running another Ponzi scheme before that.
Rachelle, meanwhile, ran the books at Aloha Trading.
In Nevada, Perry supposedly convinced a handful of his fellow inmates that he was an über wealthy commodity trader who had merely cheated on his taxes and could make them rich too. All they had to do was liquidate their savings and fork over the cash to him.
Against what would seem like common sense, several inmates and their families did just that
The FBI says the Griggs collected about $3 million from 12 investors, the majority of which were from Hawaii. About $1.1 million was paid back to investors, $775,000 was actually invested (and mostly lost) and a cool $1 million was left for the Griggs.
According to a Honolulu FBI profile of the couple, Perry also has "expensive tastes in sports cars, high-end clothing, cigars, and golf."