Next Episode of The Con is
The Con explores the troubling tales of people taken in by claims and promises that proved too good to be true, from identity fraud and misleading romance to the high-profile college admission scandal and Fyre Festival. It will reveal how the victims were fooled and the cost of their false trust - emotional and financial. "The Con" will feature interviews with the key people caught up in the cons, including victims and eyewitnesses, and, in some cases, law enforcement and the perpetrators themselves. The series will lift the curtain on the people behind some of the most outrageous cons ever.
Goldberg introduces viewers to Benita Alexander, an award-winning documentary television producer and single mother, and Paolo Macchiarini, an internationally renowned surgeon. Alexander meets Macchiarini while producing a documentary on his groundbreaking surgical techniques using stem cells in synthetic trachea transplants. Despite crossing professional lines, Alexander finds herself wooed by Macchiarini's charm, intellect and good looks, and the pair quickly falls in love. After traveling the world together, the couple gets engaged and, according to Alexander, Macchiarini tells her he wants to take over planning the wedding. It quickly becomes a grand, fairy-tale affair with an impressive guest list, including Bill Clinton, Barack Obama and Elton John. He says they'll even be married by the pope. However, weeks before their Italian wedding, Alexander realizes things aren't as perfect as they seem and uses her investigative producer skills to uncover the truth behind Macchiarini and the planned wedding.
At around the same time, the Karolinska Institute, where Macchiarini performed some of his transplant surgeries, has been digging into allegations from Macchiarini's colleagues that he fabricated parts of his medical research. Macchiarini eventually loses his position at the institute. His groundbreaking surgeries have been under investigation by Swedish prosecutors, and just last week he was indicted on charges of aggravated assault relating to three of his surgeries. A court date has yet to be set and Macchiarini has not yet entered a plea. He has denied all of the allegations against him.
Johnathan Walton, a TV producer, and Marianne Smyth, an Irish heiress who claims her family is trying to scam her out of her massive inheritance, are best friends. When Smyth is arrested for allegedly embezzling from her employer, Walton sticks by her every step of the way by lending Smyth tens of thousands of dollars to help with legal bills and expenses. Soon afterward, Walton makes the unsettling discovery that Smyth has not been truthful about needing the money or her identity. After an unsuccessful attempt to expose Smyth's web of lies and scam to the authorities, Walton sets out on his own years-long investigative journey for justice that puts Smyth in jail. The episode includes interviews with Walton as well as Smyth's former co-workers, friends and partners.
It was one of the biggest stories of 2019 - a large criminal conspiracy to influence college admissions at several top American universities. Rick Singer, through his elaborate and illegal methods, manipulated the admissions process for rich and famous parents whose children were applying to renowned schools, including actresses Lori Loughlin and Felicity Huffman. Whoopi Goldberg guides viewers through Singer's con, how it worked and how the FBI brought him down. Viewers will hear from those who witnessed Singer's rise, a former client who says he cut ties with Singer after allegedly being encouraged to lie in his college essay, and journalists who have broken down Singer's methods. The episode will feature, for the first time on television, an audio recreation of the fascinating FBI wiretaps that captured the deal-making and scheming of the wealthy clients working with Singer and their plans to con the system to get their kids into elite colleges.
Entrepreneur Billy McFarland aimed to pull off his biggest idea yet in spring 2017 - the Fyre Festival. To bring it to life, McFarland secured investors and hype with the help of a costly, viral promotional video full of the world's biggest influencers and models on the beaches of Great Exuma, Bahamas. The Fyre Festival quickly became one of the hottest and priciest tickets of the year. With only six months to plan, McFarland and his team scrambled to make good on his promise of an ultra-luxurious festival experience, complete with an all-star lineup of music performances, lavish cabanas, celebrity chefs and more. Instead, hundreds of guests arrived to what was ultimately an unfinished campsite, far from luxury. The disastrous conditions quickly went viral on social media and led to performers canceling and guests shocked with disappointment. Everyone wanted answers and most importantly a refund, and all eyes were on McFarland. Ultimately, McFarland left behind a trail of unpaid debts and is currently serving six years in prison and was ordered to pay back those he defrauded, totaling $26 million.
Anthony Gignac seemed to always dream of being part of the Saudi royal family, the richest in the world. To bring his dream closer to reality, Gignac moves to Miami and perfects the persona of Prince Khalid bin al-Saud. While living a life of luxury and fine dining, Gignac set his sights on a "long con" - an attempt to swindle wealthy Florida real estate mogul Jeffrey Soffer and others out of millions. Everything is going according to plan until Gignac makes a critical mistake - ordering and eating prosciutto at a business lunch, a no-no in the Muslim religion. This one mistake acts as the catalyst to the investigation that reveals Gignac's true identity and sheds light on his elaborate, worldwide con. The episode includes interviews with Assistant United States Attorney Fritz Shadley, Diplomatic Security Service Special Agent Ryan McSeveny, "Scam Goddess" podcast host Laci Mosley and more.
Debra, Priti and Ruth each turned to psychics for clarity and answers during difficult times in their lives. Unfortunately, their psychics took advantage of their vulnerability and asked the women for money to remedy a spiritual ailment or problem they identified. Each woman said she became emotionally dependent on her psychic. Faced with escalating demands and after losing tens of thousands of dollars, the women decided to fight back. Each woman sought the help of private investigator Bob Nygaard, a former NYPD officer who now helps people free themselves from the influence of a psychic. With Nygaard's assistance, all three women set out to reveal their psychics as con artists and seek justice. The episode includes interviews with Nygaard, all three women who sought to turn the tables on their psychics and more.
In the early 2000s, a young upstart named Rudy Kurniawan exploded into the world of fine wine, where the rich spend more on a bottle than some people make in a year. He was spending up to a million dollars a month on rare wine at auctions, throwing lavish dinners and becoming the darling of the wine world. He also became the center of one of the most outrageous scams of all-time, conning some of the richest collectors in the world. Kurniawan was celebrated for building a cellar full of the rarest wines, selling many of his bottles for record-breaking amounts of money, but he was hiding a secret. After crossing billionaire wine collector Bill Koch, the dark truth about Kurniawan was exposed. The episode features interviews with Koch, novelist Jay McInerney, Rudy's friend and filmmaker Arthur Sarkissian, and takes viewers around the world with investigators, wine experts and former FBI agents as they uncover lie after lie.
For several years, a person dubbed the "Con Queen" had been pretending to be various high-powered female film-industry executives. She allegedly offered Hollywood hopefuls a dream job with lucrative pay - but with a catch. To secure the job, the workers had to pay their own way to Jakarta, with the promise of being reimbursed. However, on arrival in Indonesia, there was a never-ending carousel of delays and excuses, along with additional cash payments for driver fees, photography permits and more. Ultimately, the "Con Queen" disappeared, leaving the workers out of pocket for the thousands of dollars they spent abroad without a job and dashed dreams. This episode follows journalists and "Chameleon: The Hollywood Con Queen" podcasters Josh Dean and Vanessa Grigoriadis as they investigate and reveal the true identity of the suspect who was finally arrested in November of 2020. The episode features exclusive television interviews with multiple Hollywood hopefuls and those closest to the case.
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