Take a look at the below list of Top 10 Billionaires Who Served Time in Prison until 2017. Normally those with a lot of money are able to avoid their crimes and jail time but throwing around their money on good defense or other areas that will overlook what they’ve done. There are some circumstances, however; where the law doesn’t care about your bank account and even the best-paid defense cannot get you out of your crime. Not all billionaires receive the same treatment and some have gone to jail just for cheating someone out of money and some because they’ve decided to drive drunk. These are the top 10 billionaires who served time in prison and what they did that landed them there.
List of Top 10 Billionaires Who Served Time in Prison until 2017
10. Jim Irsay
Jim Irsay is worth $1.6 billion and is said to be one of the most outspoken owners of all the sports teams. He currently is the CEO of the Indianapolis Colts. Irsay was returning to his home one Sunday night from Indianapolis. The police pulled him over because he was driving erratically and performing what they considered to be suspicious acts on the road. When the police approached Irsay they were surprised at what they found. He was completely out of his mind on prescription drugs. He was sent to jail which did not make the NFL to happy and they suspended him for half of the season.
9. Allen Stanford
Allen Stanford is worth $2.2 billion that he earned for himself in the finance game. The problem with Stanford’s money is he earned it by cheating all those he worked with. The judge handling his case was not happy with Stanford’s dealings and sentenced him to 110 years in prison. The prosecutors accepted the sentencing even though they had been hoping for 200 years. Stanford collected his riches by implementing a Ponzi scheme that promised investors huge returns. He wasn’t picky on who he tricked; the smart, old, foolish and everyone in-between. He became rich through his schemes but wasn’t able to enjoy it for long. Even though he has been sentenced to prison, the people he basically stole from are still out of their money as he cannot repay all the money he took.
8. Bernie Ecclestone
Bernie Ecclestone is worth $4.2 billion and the Formula One empire he forged as achieved international recognition. Even though he earned billions with his empire, he still wanted more and decided to sell some of his shares, but not in a legal way. He wanted to stay in charge even after selling the shares and bribed an investment banker to make this guarantee. Things didn’t go as he planned and that bribe put the investment banker in jail with an eight-year sentence. Ecclestone cried he had been blackmailed, but people aren’t seeing it that way. It appears when his day in court comes up, he will be facing his own prison time.
7. Vladimir Yevtushenkov
Vladimir Yevtushenkov is worth $9 billion and head of an oil company but was arrested for money laundering. Even though he is a billionaire and head of a huge company, he is still a greedy cheater. The Kremlin not only put Yevtushenkov in jail they also took his assets in the oil company away. In September of 2014, he was placed under house arrest by Russian investigators and accused of money laundering. According to Forbes, Yevtushenkov was the 15th richest businessman in 2014 so one would wonder why he felt he needed more.
6. Thomas & Raymond Kwok
Thomas & Raymond Kwok are worth $12.6 billion and decided they needed more. They sought insider information by offering to pay for it. They were specifically looking for information on land sales that were pending so they could stay ahead of the curve. They also bribed a chief secretary to look the other way. The chief secretary is second in command of Hong Kong and didn’t like they were going about this venture without giving him a piece of the action. When charges were brought, they came down hard.
5. Silvio Berlusconi
Silvio Berlusconi is worth $9 billion and found guilty of two separate charges. The first was an ordinary tax fraud so many billionaires seem to be involved in and the second was having sex with an underage prostitute. There are still three more charges awaiting Berlusconi for bribery, wiretapping, and defamation. Berlusconi made a lot of his money by buying rights to TV shows and movies during the 80’s. The tax tricks he did with his money made him a lot of money, and now he has a price to pay for it. He is one of the Top 10 Billionaires Who Served Time in Prison 2017.
4. Joseph Lau
Joseph Lau is worth $8.4 billion and has been found guilty of trying to bribe the public works $2 million for some land deals. It appears this happens a lot in Hong Kong, but only a few get caught at it. Lau lost his company and was sentenced to more than five years in jail. Lau is from Macau which is not on good terms with Hong Kong so it is unlikely he will be sent back home.
3. Chey Tae-won
Chey Tae-won is worth $2.5 billion who took money from his own company to pay a fortune teller and hired him to be an asset manager of the company. This mystical fortune teller left the country with $50 million of Chey Tae-won’s money. The company went broke and the shareholders wanted Chey Tae-won charged with embezzlement. China decided his actions warranted jail time and sent him away for four years in prison.
2. Domenico Dolce & Stefano Gabbana
Domenico Dolce & Stefano Gabbana are worth $1.65 billion and are two famous names in the fashion industry. They are also quite famous for tax evasion. When Italy was going through a recession they decided to crack down on those that weren’t paying their taxes, and Gabbana and Dolce were first on their list. Even though these two were successful, they sought more and created a phony company to sell to another company in Luxembourg. This sale allowed them to save billions on taxes. Now, however; they owe $1 billion in taxes and fees for breaking the law and face prison time.
1. Wong Kwong Yu
Wong Kwong Yu is worth $1.55 billion and was recognized as the richest man in the country in 2006. He was a master in retail electronics but was arrested when he began making too much money. His secret to success was using insider trading and attempts to pay law enforcement officials. Yu has been sentenced to 14 years in prison even though he paid $750,000 to get people to look the other way of his dealings. As it turned out, all his money wasn’t able to convince them to.
These billionaires have been sent to prison for crimes you would expect from someone with no net worth. These guys have tried to fight the law, but the law won. These top 10 billionaires who served time in prison had what most of us will never know and yet they wanted more.