Greek American Pihakis Busted by Feds for $5.8 Million

Who is the “old Greek man in Pensacola”? It is Louis Michael Pihakis who is an 80 year old Greek- American living in Pensacola Beach, Florida.  He is charged by federal authorities in Arizona of stealing $5.8 million in a financial scheme, where he  promised to investors, i.e. victims million-dollar payouts.  He is also charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud for his part in a scam that allowed him to receive $2.5 million.

How did he work? He asked his victims to invest in the trust and prove they have $10 million in a bank account to receive investments in their projects.  In case they couldn’t prove they had that much money, the investors were told that they could pay a 4% fee instead. This money was used to purchase a “proof of funds” instrument from a bank; the trust was supposed to agree to provide funding for the investors’ projects. In order to convince his potential investors for his liability, Pihakis often presented to them bank statements from various banks showing hundreds of millions of dollars in accounts. 

It was not until September that an FBI agent in Africa took a copy of one bank statement to Barclay’s Bank of Ghana.  The bank statement read $677 million dollars in the account that Pihakis used to lure investors. Investors complained of years without seeing a single dollar. When Pihakis was pressed by investors to make good on the investments, he would tell them that money was tied up in a fund for a Thailand tsunami relief project, or because they needed more investors before he could begin paying. 

In July 31, 2009, phone call were recorded by an agent.  In one Pihakis tells a confidential informant that he already has $500 million dollars sitting in a Barclay’s Bank account.  In July 2008, Scott Wallace of LHC Developments in Phoenix contacted the FBI to report that “Michael Louis” of Pensacola defrauded him of $400,000 dollars.

Where did the money go? According to the complaint, Pihakis used $345,000 of it for his personal expenses including mortgage payments. Another  $200,000 was spent on the Birmingham, Alabama where his son, Ted Pihakis lives. The latter also received $1.7 million for personal expenses, including a $43,316 check for a 2010 Lexus and what appeared to be mortgage payments. Finally, the  rest of the money were given back to the investors.

This was not the first time for Louis Pihakis has been arrested.  Between 1970 and 1993 he was convicted several times  and served time in federal prison for mail fraud, wire fraud and conspiracy charges.

Currently Louis Pichakis is allowed by Miles Davis, the U.S. Magistrate Judge, to remain free.  He is obligated to wear an electronic monitor and surrender his passports.

Pihakis is to appear before a federal judge December 3rd in Phoenix, AZ.



  1. I have just discovered today reading this that it looks like I have just been taken for $400k by this guy through a number of his associates. I have no idea if I will ever get my money back, if not this guy has broken me and taken every thing I have worked for for the last 30 years, I hope he gets whats due to him.

  2. Neil.. it amases me that for a simple loan commitment fee someone would ask for $400th and then someone would give it upfront just like that…

    Why would you do such a thing???

    It is important that you attend all trials related to this matter and press/pressure the government not to cut any deals with pihakis. He will use all these supposed associates as his out and arguments that it was every body elses fault but his. Then he will turn on all and they will take the fall..

    Neil its up to you at trial to make sure this does not happen and he fully pays for his crimes. Pihakis has defrauding the business community for over 50 years in the U.S and must be put away once and for all….

    • This was an elaborate fraud and we never went into this with our eyes closed. Mr Pihakis has not acted alone. He was and still is involved with a number of other people. We know who they are. Furthermore reputable 3rd parties were unwittingly involved in this matter. Due to on-going investigations it would be wholly inappropriate for me provide more details, needless to say I am in the process of collating a substantial amount of information which will be passed on to various authorities and I will do everything in my power to ensure that not only will justice be served but also he will never be able to do this to anyone again.
      I know the Greek community is a close knit community. I am also aware that this man is involved with the Greek Church. I sincerely hope that the people within his community are made aware of what this man has done, continues to do and this misery he has caused.
      The internet has made the world a much, much smaller place and if someone is going to commit a fraud like this they had better run and hide and hide real good………. But in time they will be found and brought to justice.

  3. I have indisputable evidence that Pihakis has used his Greek Orthodox Church connection to lure unwittingly a known film Director  from Hollywood to act as a ‘go between’ him the fictitious Greek Trust’ and the people who were borrowing money. The individual concerned is absolutely livid that Pihakis abused and used his religious faith for not only his own gain but to inflict the damage he has done on others.


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