Accused of running a $50 billion Ponzi scheme, Bernie Madoff may have masterminded the biggest fraud in Wall Street history. But he’s not alone. Over the years, people from CEOS to traders have tried to take advantage of the system. Here are some of the notables from the past two decades.
The French trader was charged in January, 2008, of abuse of confidence and illegal access to computers for losing a reported $7 billion for Societe Generale. His case is still pending.
The former Tyco International CEO was convicted in June, 2005, for misappropriation of about $400 million of the company’s funds. He was sentenced to a prison term of up to 25 years.
Enron filed for bankruptcy in 2001 following massive accounting fraud and a run on its stock. The two CEOs, Kenneth Lay and Jeffrey Skillling, were convicted in 2006. Lay died before sentencing. Skilling is in prison.
Ebbers, the former CEO of WorldCom, was imprisoned on charges of fraud and conspiracy for falsifying the telecommunications company’s finances. It’s estimated that the fraud cost investors about $11 billion.
Once the world's largest cable company, Adelphia filed for bankruptcy in 2002 amid allegations of corruption among the company's founders and leaders, including CEO John Rigas. Rigas was convicted in 2005 and is currently serving a prison sentence.
The British investment bank Barings collapsed after massive currency market losses were incurred but hidden by trader Leeson in 1995. The fraud cost the company about $1.4 billion in losses. ING bought the company for one British pound, and assumed all of its debt. Leeson is now out of prison.
Keating was charged with fraud, racketeering and conspiracy in 1993 over the 1989 failure of Lincoln Savings and Loan. He spent more than four years in jail before the charges were overturned in 1996. The failure of Lincoln cost the government an estimated $3 billion.
Junk bonds pioneer Michael Milken was convicted on securities charges in 1990. He was released from prison after less than two years.
Boesky pleaded guilty to insider trading in 1986, and said that he amassed much of his $200 million fortune using illegal information. He served two years in jail before being released.
Oil executive Nelson Hunt and his brother William Hunt tried to corner the market on silver. The market eventually crashed in 1980, a day known as Silver Thursday. The Hunts were convicted in 1988.