7 Hollywood Actors Who Were Scammed Out of Money
Some of the richest actors in Hollywood tend to be highly targeted by people who want to swindle them out of their money. A lot of them have been successful by posing as well-meaning financial advisers, art dealers, and more. After years of getting away with their terrible deeds they have luckily been brought to justice. So which actors got scammed out of their money? These seven sadly got tricked.
1. Keifer Sutherland
The actor is known for being in the television show 24, for which he plays Counter Terrorist Unit agent Jack Bauer. Although his character might be able to see through con artists and liars, the actor can’t. He had $869,000 taken from him after Michael Wayne Carr allegedly offered him a $550,000 cattle deal in 2006, according to TMZ. For that amount he was supposed to buy cattle in Mexico and sell in America to turn a profit. The actor then wired him $685,000, expecting a $130,000 profit in return.
The actor never actually met Carr who admitted to doctoring the paperwork to trick the actor. A judged ordered Carr to pay back the actor and his other victims, which totaled $1.6 million, according to Record Net. He also pleaded guilty to two counts of felony grand theft and one count of felony forgery.
2. Robert De Niro
The beloved actor works nonstop so he definitely has some money put away. Most of us would like to think no one would take advantage of him, but sadly he has been tricked. An art dealer named Lawrence Salander hit many people right in their pockets by selling artwork and taking the profits. The actor — along with tennis champion John McEnroe — was among his victims.
De Niro had several of his father’s paintings sold without his permission. Salander also had people invest in his schemes. Luckily, the dealer was caught and was sentenced to go to prison for six to 18 years and pay $120 million to the victims.
3. Anne Hathaway
Her ex-boyfriend Raffaello Follieri posed as the Vatican’s representative to the U.S. He then promised investors discounts on property belonging to the church, according to Daily Mail. The actress was also roped in on the scheme. She served as the financial donor and member of the board for Follieri’s foundation. The couple broke up in 2008 when the IRS started looking into the situation.
The conman went to prison for 4.5 years and pleaded guilty to 14 counts of wire fraud, conspiracy, and money laundering in 2008. He has since been deported from the country.
4. Kyra Sedgwick and Kevin Bacon
The married actors are one of many victims of Bernie Madoff. The investor convinced many to give him their savings for profits in return. Madoff was able to get $65 billion from his Ponzi scheme. He was caught in 2008 and later sentenced to 150 years in prison, according to Business Insider. Although the conman was able to get away with a lot of their money, they seem to be staying positive.
“There were so many people who got hit so much harder than us,” Bacon told GQ. “We knew we were going to have each other and our kids were OK.”
5. Uma Thurman
The Pulp Fiction and Kill Bill star was one of many actors who got ripped by their financial adviser. Kenneth Starr was another person promoting a Ponzi scheme to his clients. He made off with more than $30 million, but he was caught partially thanks to Uma Thurman.
She noticed that she was missing a million dollars from her account so she confronted Starr, according to People. He covered his tracks by paying her back but this started getting other people talking. He had other famous clients like Wesley Snipes, Sylvester Stallone, Nora Ephron, and Martin Scorsese. After getting caught, Starr pleaded guilty to fraud and money laundering. He was sentenced to seven and a half years in prison in 2011, according to The New York Times.
6. Cindy Crawford
A lot of celebrities have been scammed by people who have tried to earn their trust. But this situation was all about intimidation! The model was blackmailed by German model Rande Gerber, who was threatening to sell an inappropriate photo of her 7-year-old daughter tied to a chair with a gag in her mouth if she didn’t give him $1,000.
In reality there was a photo, but it was from her daughter playing cops and robbers with her nanny, according to NY Daily News. So the extortionist was embellishing, but he claimed to have stolen the photo from the family’s former nanny. Two days after making his demands, he reportedly increased his demanded amount from $1,000 to $100,000. Luckily he was caught and was convicted for attempting to extort money and was sentenced two years in jail.
7. Jack Nicholson
The three-time Oscar winner also fell victim to a deceiving art dealer. Todd Michael Volpe admitted to being in a tough spot financially so he tricked people who he was doing business with. His clients lost about $1.9 million. Nicholson became Volpe’s partner in a fund to buy and sell art.
“Mr. Volpe entered into an investment fund with Mr. Nicholson,” explained federal prosecutor Daniel C. Becker. “Mr. Nicholson gave him money, and Mr. Volpe took some of those artworks from the fund, sold it, kept the money, did not turn over the proceeds to the fund as he was required.” Volpe pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 28 months in prison and has to pay $1.9 million to his victims.
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