The American Greed episode “Wine, Women and Fraud” tells the story of Berkeley, California businessman John Fox who “steals millions from rich wine clients, and blows the money on fast cars and faster hookups – until he falls prey to a sextortion scheme.” He sold expensive wine to clients but never delivered the product. One of the FBI investigators interviewed on American Greed says Fox confessed to spending $900,000 on online dating and that he considered himself “The Bernie Madoff of the wine business.”
In December 2016, to avoid a potential 20-year sentence in jail, Fox pleaded guilty and agreed to pay back $45 million owed to 9000 customers. He received a six and a half year sentence. Wine Spectator reports that Fox said that he hoped to take computer courses while in prison so that he can start a new business when he gets out and begin to pay back his victims. American Greed airs Mondays at 10pm on CNBC.