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Dirty Rotten Scoundrels

June 17, 2007 9:00 PM

CNBC, which traffics in financial data and dynamics that can help viewers get rich or stay rich, takes a six-part look at the more colorful underbelly of the American Dream in a six-week series, "American Greed: Scams, Scoundrels and Scandals," premiering at 10 p.m. Thursday (with a repeat at 1 a.m.).

The first story involves a skilled fisherman and a Ponzi scheme that relieved more than 50 people of some $2 million before a small-town cop tracked the scam artist from the coast of New Hampshire to Reno, Nev. The first hour also includes a look inside a West Hollywood art heist that's still one of the FBI's 10 top unsolved art crimes.

The series is produced by Kurtis Productions, the prolific company headed by Bill Kurtis, who anchored at WBBM-TV during CNBC President Mark Hoffman's tenure as news director at the CBS-owned Chicago station. But Mr. Hoffman didn't buy the series out of friendship. "It's a fascinating topic," the CNBC executive said. -- Michele Greppi

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