5 Millionaires who went to Prison. These millionaires all substituted their cozy home for a nice prison cell. These millionaires broke the law and paid the price with jail time!
5. Jordan Belfort
Worth hundreds of millions in the '90s, Jordan Belfort is an American motivational speaker and former stockbroker. He was convicted of fraud crimes related to stock market manipulation and running a boiler room as part of a penny stock scam, for which he spent 22 months in prison. He recounted his life in his memoir, The Wolf of Wall Street, and a film adaptation, released in 2013, was directed by Martin Scorsese and starred Leonardo DiCaprio as Belfort.
4. Robert Stanford
Stanford was a former prominent financier and sponsor of professional sports who is serving a 110-year prison sentence, having been convicted of charges that his investment company was a massive Ponzi scheme and fraud. On February 17, 2009, he was charged with fraud and multiple violations of U.S. securities laws for alleged "massive ongoing fraud" involving $7 billion in certificates of deposits.
3. Wong Kwong Yu
He once had a net worth of up to $6.3 billion, and he served as the Chairman of GOME Electrical Appliances. This firm was a one of the leading and most popular electrical appliance chains in China. IN 2008, Wong was investigated for stock market manipulation and he is now serving a 14 year jail sentence for his crimes. How much of a hit his wealth took is unclear, and there are no reports of a fine, but he’s not likely to enjoy his billions for the next decade.
2. Michael Khodorkovsky & Platon Lebedev
Once Russia’s richest individuals, Mikhail Khodorkovsky and Platon Lebedev had a net worth of $15 billion(!). They previously led the infamous Yukos Oil, but have been in prison since 2003 because of legal cases including tax evasion and fraud. The two were set to be released from jail in 2011, but they were convicted again in 2009 for embezzlement and money laundering. There have been accusations that the scandal and arrests were politically motivated.
1. Bernie Madoff
Madoff was worth about $800 million in his heyday. As founder of Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities in 1960, Madoff became the leader of one of the top Wall Street market makers, employing close family members in key areas of the firm. Eventually, Bernie’s sons sold him out to the authorities when he confessed to them that the firm’s asset management was a massive Ponzi Scheme. In 2009, Madoff pleaded guilty and was charged to 150 years in prison.