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FBI arrests fugitive couple wanted for Ponzi scheme

By Star-Advertiser Staff

LAST UPDATED: 1:40 p.m. HST, Dec 16, 2010

FBI agents in Arizona today arrested a fugitive husband and wife wanted on charges that they operated a Ponzi scheme that victimized Hawaii residents.

Perry and Rachelle Griggs were arrested this morning in Kingman, Ariz., the FBI announced.

They will face an initial court appearance in Flagstaff, Ariz., before being brought to Honolulu to be arraigned on fraud charges contained in an Oct. 28 indictment.

The indictment, by a federal grand jury in Honolulu, charges Perry and Rachelle Griggs on 13 counts of wire and mail fraud relating to an alleged Ponzi scheme they operated from 2005 through 2009, primarily targeting Hawaii residents.

According to the indictment, the Griggses operated Aloha Trading, a company purporting to be in the business of commodities trading on behalf of clients. The indictment alleges that the Aloha Trading investment program was actually a Ponzi scheme in which investors’ returns were derived from their own principal investments and money from later investors.

  At the time, Perry Griggs was serving time in a federal prison in Nevada, where he marketed the investments to inmates from Hawaii and to their families. Rachelle Griggs was living in Nevada at the time, the FBI said.

Perry Griggs was released from prison in September 2008. The Griggses lived in Las Vegas until they disappeared in January 2010.

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