Some people prefer to steal than work. The most recent disciples of Charles Ponzi have stolen some of the largest sums of money in history by paying off early investors with capital raised from later entrants.
After hearing from Ruth Madoff on 60 Minutes last night, let’s take a look at the four biggest assholes who sipped champagne over the past several years while ripping off hard working people:
4) Scott Rothstein
The Scam: selling fictitious stakes in legal claims negotiated from employment related cases.
The Loot: $1.2 billion — the largest in South Florida history.
The Price: Awaiting sentencing.
3) Tom Petters
The Scam: claiming to finance the purchase of electronic goods that would be resold to big-box retailers.
The Loot: $3.7 billion — biggest in Minnesota history.
The Price: 50 year prison sentence.
2) Allen Stanford
The Scam: fraudulently selling certificates of deposit.
The Loot $8 billion.
The Price: Faces up to 250 years in prison.
1) Bernard Madoff
The Scam: running a fake investment and securities firm.
The Loot: Bernie Madoff now holds the world-record for biggest Ponzi scheme in history. Madoff stole an astonishing $50 billion while chairing the Nasdaq and maintaining cushy relationships at the SEC.
The Price: He is now serving a 150 year prison sentence to contemplate the lives and charities he literally destroyed.