Manhunt Leads to Capture of Fugitive Couple

December 16, 2010, 2:05 PM HST · Updated December 16, 2:05 PM
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A man and wife accused of running an alleged Ponzi scheme that targeted primarily Hawaii residents, were arrested today in Arizona.  Perry and Rachelle Griggs were indicted by a Federal Grand Jury in Honolulu on 13 counts of Wire and Mail Fraud relating to the Aloha Trading business they operated.

RACHELLE LOUISE GRIGGS, also known as RACHELLE RUTLEDGE, is 42 years old, 5’4” tall, 150 pounds with blonde hair and green eyes. Photo courtesy FBI.

PERRY JAY GRIGGS is 49 years old, 5’10” tall, 180 pounds, with grey hair and blue eyes. He is known to have expensive tastes in sports cars, high-end clothing, cigars and golf. Photo courtesy FBI.

The indictment alleges the business was actually a Ponzi scheme operating under the guise of a commodities trading business.  According to information released by the Honolulu FBI office, the indictment further alleges investors’ returns were derived from their own principal investments and money from later investors.

The business was in operation from 2005 to 2009.  At the time of the alleged scheme activity, Rachelle Griggs lived in Las Vegas and Perry Griggs was incarcerated in federal prisons in Nevada, Texas, and California.

While incarcerated in Nevada, the Honolulu FBI says Perry Griggs was housed with a large number of inmates from Hawaii.  The indictment alleges the couple marketed the Aloha Trading investment program to inmates and their families.

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Special agents from the FBI followed a trail of leads to Kingman, Arizona where the couple was arrested this morning.  They will face an initial court appearance in Flagstaff, Arizona before being transported to Honolulu to be arraigned on fraud charges.  An indictment is not evidence of guilt, and all defendants in a criminal case are presumed innocent, unless proven guilty in a court of law.

(Posted by Wendy Osher, supporting information courtesy FBI)  *** If you liked this story, you might also like our story on Congresswoman Hirono’s support of Dream Act immigration legislation.

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