San Diego, CA - November 17, 2022 - American Greed is the award-winning series narrated by legendary actor Stacy Keach. Neil Senturia, a San Diego entrepreneur and venture capitalist who writes a weekly award-winning business column for the San Diego Union-Tribune, recently sat down with American Greed to discuss his Best-Selling book, I Did It - The Largest Woman-Run Ponzi Scheme in American History.
The segment airing on November 22, 2022, is about Gina Champion-Cain and the story of why and how she led the biggest female Ponzi Scheme of $350 million dollars.
Cain was considered an icon in her hometown of San Diego, California. Her business portfolio included real estate, retail, and restaurants. Cain was also a guest economics commentator for the San Diego Union-Tribune. Champion-Cain also served on non-profit and corporate boards.
Gina Champion-Cain's exploits included a multitude of participants such as hedge funds, banks, and small-time crooks, all fueled by greed, stupidity, and a keen desire to look the other way. Even when they were looking in the right direction, all of these people and entities saw nothing. Gina was the Penn and Teller of misdirection, acting with caring behavior to other people (while bilking her investors), creating philanthropic endeavors, and single-mindedly pursuing her dream of building an empire, taking it public, and cashing out all the investors.
In August 2019, Gina’s seven-year program of selling phony liquor license loans came to an end when the SEC, the US Attorney’s Office, and the FBI filed suit and shut it down. In San Diego, Gina, then fifty-four, was an icon. To the outside world, this beautiful, charismatic woman looked as if she had succeeded in a male-dominated good old boys club — building an empire that included real estate, restaurants, and retail; she was a guest economics commentator for the San Diego Union-Tribune; she served on prestigious corporate and nonprofit boards.
The City of San Diego even honored her with her own Gina Champion-Cain Day. But her life and her empire were a house of cards funded with money from massive financial fraud.
Gina Champion-Cain pleaded guilty and was sentenced on March 31, 2021, when she admitted that she swindled more than $350 million from investors promising to use their money to make loans to business owners who were attempting to acquire California liquor licenses.
Champion-Cain and her co-conspirators instead used these funds from new investors to pay back others whose investments would soon be redeemed, and embezzled funds to support her other businesses and her lavish ‘celebrity ‘lifestyle.
“American Greed has been doing these kinds of programs for more than 15 years – and they never run out of material. Greed and human nature – mixed with fraud, arrogance, and stupidity on a croissant – that is a heck of a sandwich,” stated Neil Senturia.
Do not miss this American Greed episode with Neil Senturia on November 22, 2022.
Learn more by visiting: https://www.ididit-book.com/
About the Authors
Neil Senturia is a San Diego entrepreneur and venture capitalist who writes a weekly award-winning business column for the San Diego Union-Tribune (I’m There for You Baby, The Entrepreneur’s Guide to the Galaxy.) He has known Gina Champion-Cain for more than 20 years.
Barbara Bry is an entrepreneur who was a business writer for the Sacramento Bee and the Los Angeles Times and has served on the San Diego City Council. She has a Harvard MBA and is the founder of three organizations that empower women.