Sacto 9-1-1
November 1, 2010
FBI seeks couple in connection with reported Ponzi scheme

By Cathy Locke
clocke@sacbee.com

The Federal Bureau of Investigation is seeking the public's help in locating a husband and wife wanted in connection with an alleged Ponzi scheme.

FBI officials said recent information indicates that Perry and Rachelle Griggs may be in the Sacramento area.

The two were indicted by a federal grand jury in Honolulu last week on 13 counts of wire and mail fraud related to a Ponzi scheme they allegedly 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 a Ponzi scheme in which investors' returns were derived from their own principal investments and money from later investors.

At the time the alleged scheme was active, Rachelle Griggs lived in Las Vegas and Perry Griggs was incarcerated in prisons in Nevada, Texas and California. FBI officials said Griggs was serving time in federal prison for running a Ponzi scheme when he allegedly conducted the Ponzi scheme for which he is currently charged.

While in prison in Nevada, Perry Griggs was housed with a large number of inmates from Hawaii, according to an FBI news release. The indictment alleges that the Griggses marketed the Aloha Trading investment program to inmates and their families.

According to the indictment, investors obtained mortgage loans, or liquidated their retirement and personal savings to invest in the Aloha Trading program. Between September 2005 and June 2009, Aloha Trading allegedly received approximately $3 million from 12 separate investors, nine of whom lived in Hawaii.

In September 2008, Perry Griggs was released from federal prison and lived in Las Vegas with Rachelle Griggs until they both disappeared in January 2010.

FBI officials said they consider this to be a national fugitive manhunt with primary focus on the states of Nevada, Washington and California. The Griggses are from the Everett/Maryville, Wash., area and lived in Santa Ana through the 1990s, according to the FBI.

Perry Griggs, 49, is described as 5 feet 10 inches tall, weighing 180 ponds, with gray hair and blue eyes. He is known to have expensive tastes in sports cars, high-end clothing, cigars and golf, according to the news release.

Rachelle Louise Griggs, also known as Rachelle Rutledge, is 42, 5 feet 4 inches tall, weighing 150 pounds with blond hair and green eyes.

Anyone who recognizes the couple or has information about their current location is asked to call the Honolulu FBI at (808) 566-4300.

Call The Bee's Cathy Locke, (916) 321-5287.

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