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Ralph Nelson

3 Financial Criminals Who Will Make You Hide Your Wallet

As long as there has been money, there's been financial crime. Here are three of the biggest fraudsters, con artists, and exploiters in recent history, all proof that crime pays well, but only for so long.

1) Bernie Madoff

The absolute king of fraud, Bernie Madoff ran the most successful Ponzi scheme in history. With almost $65 billion gone up in smoke over some 30 years, it’s hard to beat Madoff. He was sentenced to 150 years in prison for his financial crimes in 2009.

2) Martha Stewart

The lovely face of daytime TV was sentenced to 2 years for insider trading, selling off shares of a pharmaceutical company after receiving news an essential treatment would not be getting FDA approval. At least she had the capability to make her jell cell look nice.

3) Jeffrey Skiing of Enron

Enron was once a massive company, bringing in over $100 billion. Following a downturn, Jeffrey Skiing, the company’s CEO, made illegal moves to conceal the company's dire straits from shareholders. Skiing was able to conceal billions in debt—and that bad investing earned him 24 years in prison.

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