Businessmen Behaving Badly: The Most Influential Financial Mindss Currently Behind Bars

| April 17, 2014 | 0 Comments


With all the money in the world at their disposal, it seems like precious few white-collar criminals ever do any time for their crimes, managing to sweep everything under the rug. These wolves of Wall Street appear to continue to line their coffers, regardless of the scandalous entanglements they become involved in. However, there are several notable figures that have been caught and are now serving timely prison terms.

Bernie Madoff

For being the mastermind behind the purportedly largest financial fraud in U.S. history, Madoff was sentenced to over 100 years in prison, with a release date of 2139.  After robbing investors of $17 billion, he became one of the most infamous white-collar criminals in history. He plead guilty to eleven felony counts, including security fraud, wire fraud, mail fraud, money laundering, and perjury, among others.

Sholam Weiss

A former insurance emperor, Weiss now faces a sentence of 845 years in prison after disappearing over $450 million. He’s now serving his sentence in Pennsylvania, but this was only after being extradited from Austria, where he fled as a fugitive during the deliberations.

R. Allen Stanford

This billionaire tycoon from Texas spent 20 years robbing investors of $7 billion in his Ponzi scheme. Stanford’s financial empire once stretched from the U.S. down through Latin America, but when his assets were seized, he had to rely on court-appointed attorneys. Stanford faces a sentence of 110 years.

Scott Rothstein

Though he was very cooperative and appeared contrite for his misdeeds, Rothstein, the orchestrator of the largest Ponzi scheme in Florida, was sentenced to 50 years in prison. Phony legal investments made by Rothstein led to $1.2 billion in losses. One of his former partners is currently facing trial.

Frederick Brandau

Brandau ran a $117 million Ponzi scheme through a viatical settlement firm, which catered to elderly investors. Authorities arrested him, thanks to a tip from Colombian officials, who put an end to his hope for escape in South America. Brandau is currently serving a 55-year sentence in a medium-security prison in Florida

Tim Durham

Hailed the Madoff of the Midwest, Tim Durham, the CEO of a leveraged buyout shop in Indianapolis, managed to defraud some 5,000 investors out of over $200 million. Durham was frequently seen partying on his yacht in Los Angeles and Miami in earlier days. He’s currently serving a 50-year prison sentence.

Charles Lewis

A partner in a $40 million scheme with Norman Schmidt, Charles Lewis was found guilty of investment fraud. While Schmidt already died serving out his 330-year term, at age 73, Lewis is likely to meet a similar end. His much shorter sentence has him scheduled for release in 2032.

Eduardo Mansferrar

The formerly prominent Florida banker, Eduardo Mansferrar is also set for prison release in 2032. His creative accounting at Hamilton Bank brought about its seizure by federal regulators, who didn’t appreciate that he whisked away $20 million.

Chalana McFarland

While we don’t often hear of women committing financial crimes, this “Queen of Mortgage Fraud” managed to inflate property values and flip real estate in Atlanta. However, maneuvering $20 million in defaulted loans finally caught up to her. She’s currently doing 30 years in a federal prison.

Lance Poulsen

Working with his co-defendant Rebecca Parrett through a company in Ohio, Lance Poulsen committed $2.9 billion in fraud. He’s now serving a 30-year sentence for felony charges in fraud and corruption.

Lou Pearlman

Famous for putting together boy bands like *NSYNC and The Backstreet Boys, Lou Pearlman spent over two decades scamming people out of $300 million through bank fraud. The boy band mogul hopes to find a new Justin Timberlake to absolve him of his crimes when he’s released in 2029.

Samuel Israel

Samuel Israel attempted to skip jail when he was charged for using his Bayou Group hedge fund to rob investors of $400 million. He eventually turned himself in, but it didn’t do him any good and 10 years was added to his initially slated 20 years, adding up to a 30-year sentence.

Ryan Dahlquist is an entertainment blogger and current law school student. For anyone facing jail-time in his native Texas, he recommends seeking out OK Bail Bonds in Houston, Texas.

Category: Estate Plan Trusts

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