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Many individuals in society make mistakes and end up on the wrong side of the law. Normally the people that do are the ones that don’t have a lot at stake or don’t have any connections to the police department. You would typically expect those with billions of dollars to be able to escape prison time, and in most cases, that would be correct.
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Every so often, Johnny Law doesn’t care how much you are worth and how much you are willing to throw around to avoid jail. The Taxman also doesn’t care, and he’s going to get his money either way. Not all billionaires are built the same— some of them have gone to jail for cheating people out of millions of dollars, while others just got too drunk and made the bad decision to drive. Somehow, there is a billionaire on this list who could have easily afforded his own limo company ten times over and yet still decided to drive home drunk.We found 10 billionaires that have been sent to jail for the kind of bad behavior that you would expect from someone with a negative net worth. These guys (yes, men only on this list) fought the law and the law won! What did they all do to make the law so mad? Check out this list to see what these billionaire bad boys did to get themselves behind bars.

#10 – Wong Kwong Yu ($1.55 Billion)

Wong-Kwong-Yu
We start the list in China where Wong Kwong Yu was recognized as the richest man in the country in 2006. With the largest population in the world, that’s really saying something. Yu was the master of retail electronics in China, but got busted when he started making excessive money.

Turns out his key to success wasn’t an ancient Chinese guarded secret. It was instead just a bunch of insider trading and attempts to pay off law enforcement officials. Yu got sentenced to 14 years in prison as a result and made a six figure profit on his inside trade. After getting popped, Yu tried to spend $750,000 to get people to look the other way. Spoiler alert: They refused.

 

 

#9 – Jim Irsay ($1.6 Billion)

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Jim Irsay is one of the most outspoken owners in the US sporting arena, and is the current CEO of the Indianapolis Colts. One Sunday night, Irsay was driving from Indianapolis back to his home in the suburb of Carmel, Indiana. Due to his erratic driving and suspicious actions on the road, the boys in blue decided to pull Irsay over.

What police found was a little more than what they were expecting. Irsay was lit out of his mind and prescription drugs were found in his expensive car. Irsay had to go to jail, and the NFL wasn’t too happy with him. Irsay was suspended for half of the season, which is a shame because the Colts are actually a fun team to watch thanks to Andrew Luck the quarterback.

 

 

#8 – Domenico Dolce & Stefano Gabbana ($1.65 Billion)

Domenico-Dolce-and-Stefano-Gabbana
Dolce and Gabbana are two of the most recognizable names in all of fashion. They are also two of the most recognizable names in all of tax evasion. Italy was going through a recession and started busting down on those that dodged their taxes, and Dolce and Gabbana were public enemy number one.

Despite being very successful, the fashion duo wanted to be more successful and made a phony company to sell to a company in Luxembourg. That sale allowed them to save half a billion in taxes outside of Italy. Now they owe $1 billion in taxes and fees to the court for breaking the law. At least they will be the best dressed in prison.

 

 

 

#7 – Allen Stanford ($2.2 Billion)

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Allen Stanford the con man became a billionaire in the finance game, but he did so by cheating & conning everyone he ever worked with. The judge was a little miffed during the case and sentenced him to 110 years in prison. The prosecutors accepted that, but initially wanted more than 200 years for Stanford. Not that it really matters, since nobody has lived to see 170 years.

Stanford was the conductor of a ponzi scheme that promised huge returns on investments. Stanford duped the young, the old, the smart, the foolish and everyone in between. The billions that he took from people made him wealthy, but he didn’t get to enjoy it for very long. Every dog has its day, but time caught up to him eventually. Unfortunately, Stanford can’t repay all of the money he stole, so the folks he screwed have to cut their losses.

 

#6 – Chey Tae-won ($2.5 Billion)

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People with a lot of money are known to be maybe just a little eccentric, but Tae-Won might take the cake in terms of crazy. After visiting a fortune teller, and hiring him to become the asset manager of his company, Tae-Won took money from his own company to help the Shaman.

The investment in the mystical person was not met with a lot of foresight, since he jetted out of the country with $50 million of his money. The shareholders weren’t too happy that the company they invested in was suddenly without funds & broke and Tae-Won was wanted for embezzlement. The  Chinese authorities decided that his goofy act was worth at least four years in prison, which the fortune teller did not tell him about, for obvious reasons.

 

 

#5 – Bernie Ecclestone ($4.2 Billion)

Bernie-Ecclestone
Bernie Ecclestone and his Formula One empire have achieved international popularity. That still hasn’t stopped Ecclestone from trying to make more money through selling some of his shares, but he went about it the wrong way. Ecclestone decided to bribe an investment banker for a guarantee that the bank would let him stay in charge even after selling their stake.

That’s not how things work, and the bribe that was accepted put the investment banker in prison for over eight years. Ecclestone has cried foul and said that he was blackmailed, but not a lot of people are buying it and his day in court is upcoming. It looks like it will be hard for Ecclestone to get out of this one if he doesn’t offer another bribe.

 

 

#4 – Joseph Lau ($8.4 Billion)

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The story of Lau is almost identical to that of the Kwok brothers later on in this list. Also in Hong Kong, Lau was found guilty for attempting to pay more than $2 million to the government public works head of staff for some land deals. It probably happens there all the time, but only a few guys have gotten caught.

Lau had to give up his company and spend more than five years in jail. The good news for Lau is that he is from the country of Macau. Hong Kong and Macau aren’t the best of friends, so Lau isn’t really in danger of being sent back to the country. Still, the whole fiasco is a cautionary tale that the Kwok brothers probably should have paid some attaention to.

 

 

 

#3 – Vladimir Yevtushenkov ($9 Billion)

Vladimir-YevtushenkovRarely do you become one of the richest businessmen in the entire nation of Russia without pulling a few strings and cutting a few corners. That’s exactly what oligarch Yevtushenkov did in 2014 to get arrested for money laundering. Is it really that big of a surprise? For the head of an oil company to be a greedy cheater?

Not only did Vladimir have to do some prison time, but the Kremlin also took his assets in the oil company. After looking at the oil prices in January 2015 and the fact that it’s about $1.60 a gallon in the United States, Vladimir may have lucked out after all. Russia’s oil market had been in shambles in 2014, and a lot of people are happy about it.

 

 

 

#2 – Silvio Berlusconi ($9 Billion)

Silvio-Berlusconi
Berlusconi will not be confused with a good or pious man anytime soon. Despite being in his late 70’s, Berlusconi got busted by law enforcement on two different charges. The first is just your run of the mill tax fraud that billionaires seem to be attracted to, but the second was a little puzzling. Berlusconi was also charged and found guilty of sex with an underage prostitute nicknamed “The Heart Stealer”.

There are still three more charges that are awaiting trial, including defamation, wiretapping and bribery. The old weasel made his money by buying rights to television shows and movies during the 1980’s. The tax gymnastics he did with his company netted him a lot of dodgey money, so he had a price to pay.

 

 

#1 – Thomas & Raymond Kwok ($12.6 Billion)

Thomas-and-Raymond-Kwok
Hong Kong is a place with big money at the top, and the Kwok brothers decided they wanted more and more despite being multi billionaires already. Insider information is hard to come by, and the Kwok brothers were willing to cough up $$$ for it. The problem is that you can’t do that without some retribution.

These two ‘dodgey brothers’ wanted some private information on land sales that were pending to stay ahead of the curve. That was bad enough, but the Kwok’s were also accused of bribing a chief secretary to look the other way. The chief secretary is the second in charge in Hong Kong, which obviously had the number one guy a little jealous that he wasn’t getting a piece of the action and the charges were brought in hard.

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