Wall Street: a place where money is thrown around as if it’s meaningless. It’s a place where fortunes are made and lost, and where daily screaming matches over the future prices of soy beans take precedent over almost everything else. Investors throw around capital, dictating tectonic shifts in the economy and policy. Yes, Wall Street is a magical place where honest men and women can go to put their money to work.
But it’s also a place that attracts those of questionable character. With so much money flying around, coupled with paltry amounts of oversight and regulation, the idea of cutting corners here and there can become wildly attractive. There have been hundreds if not thousands of Wall Street criminals over the years, their misdeeds ranging from simple insider trading to massive Ponzi schemes, perpetrated over several years. The recent financial crisis also saw its genesis on Wall Street, where only a handful of white collar criminals were able to bring the entire country to its knees.
There have been books written and movies made about some of the more high-profile activities, including The Wolf of Wall Street, Wall Street, and Boiler Room. As these adaptations of real life events have entertained audiences through the years, the real-life effects of those they chronicle still affect many people to this day. With the recent financial crisis, the Libor scandal, and book-cooking, there’s so much drama that it would be hard not to bring these stories to the big screen.
Here we take a look at ten of the more notorious Wall Street criminals of all time. Their crimes range in magnitude and severity, and some are noteworthy simply because of who perpetrated them. Some names are well-known, others will be new to most people. But they all have one thing in common: they used the markets to game the system.
Read on to see ten of the biggest Wall Street busts of all time.