When we think about billionaires we always imagine them taking their fortunes to the grave. But, that’s not always the case. We see now some of the richest billionaires who lost it all.
1) Patricia Kluge
She started working as a model, later she became insanely rich after her divorce with John Kluge in which she got $1 billion and another billion every year. In 1999 she started investing in vineyards in Albemarle and everything worked out great. Uuuntil she tried to do the same thing in Cleveland and lost everything, having to sell her business to Donald Trump.
2) Sam Wyly
He is a businessman and major contributor to conservative candidates among other things. He had a net worth of $1.1 billion in 2006, but in 2014, was accused of tax evasion, in too many offshore accounts which drove him to complete bankruptcy. Him… and his brother, who was also wrapped up in it all.
3) Adolf Merckle
He was an entrepreneur and one of the richest people in Germany, developing Germany’s largest pharmaceutical wholesaler, Phoenix Pharmahandel. In 2017 he owned $12.8 billion, however, his empire was difficult to maintain, and he was losing a lot of money because of risky decisions, until 2008 when lost almost everything leading him to commit suicide in 2009.
4) Seán Quinn
He was a journalist and the richest person in Ireland in 2008 with $6 billion. However, he invested €2.8 billion of the family’s wealth in the Anglo Irish Bank and took out a loan from the Golden Circle which was never repaid. This resulted in his bankruptcy during the recession of 2011. He even spent 9 weeks in jail in 2012 for asset stripping.
5) Alberto Vilar
He was an investment manager, known as a patron of the arts and opera companies. He spent around $150 million in donations to art companies. In the year 2000 there was a crash in technology stocks, and everything changed and he started loosing his fortune. He was arrested in 2005 for security fraud, and faced fines of more than $10 million and prison time of up to a hundred and fifty-five years.
6) Eike Batista
He is the chairman of the Brazilian conglomerate of EBX Groupa and serial entrepreneur who made a fortune in mining and oil and gas industries. In 2012, he had a net worth of US$35 billion. But it didn’t last long, in 2013, he only had $200 million due to his debts and his company’s falling stock prices, and in 2014 he had $0. He became famous for being the fastest destroyer of wealth.
7) Jordan Belfort
He is an author, motivational speaker, and former stockbroker, although we know him better as the The Original Wolf of Wall Street. He founded Stratton Oakmont earning $250 million a year, in which he did a lot of pump-and-dump scams that led to 22 months of prison.
8) Anton Schlecker
He is the founder and owner of the Schlecker drug store chain in Germany. In 2003, he already had €6.5 billion, even after his kids were kidnapped in 1987 for which he paid almost €10 million ransom. Schlecker and wife had to also pay one million euros each for fraud in the salaries of their employees. However he only became bankrupt because of the companies competition in 2012.
9) Robert Allen Stanford
Stanford was a financier and sponsor of professional sports with a net worth of $2 billion in 2012. But he made the big mistake of stealing $7 billion from investors. So now, he is in jail serving a 110-year federal prison sentence and, of course, completely bankrupt.
10) Björgólfur Guðmundsson
He was the chairman and former owner of West Ham United and the majority owner and chairman of the Icelandic bank Landsbanki. One of the richest people in the world with a net worth of $1.1 billion. In 2008, he decided to take over Landsbanki’s operations, replacing its board of directors, and that’s when he lost everything.
If you were a billionaire, what would you spend all of your money on?