This world is full of Richie riches and poors. Many came with a groundbreaking idea and eventually become self made billionaires while some hold money from their ancestors. But where is money, there is fear of loss. So today we come up with a list of billionaires who went bankrupt and lost all of their money.
1. Bjorgolfur Gudmundsson
This Icelandic billionaire was ranked by Forbes as one of the richest in the world in early 2008. Bjorgolfur Gudmundsson made his money in a variety of ways. He owned Russian beverage and bottling companies, significant share in an Icelandic publishing company and controlling share in Landsbanki, of one of Iceland’s major banks. With over $1.1 Billion, Gudmundsson had enough money to even buy his own sports team, he bought West Ham United of the English Premier League.
In 2008, the Icelandic banking system collapsed and Gudmundsson was forced to declare bankruptcy as he had more debt than he could pay off.
2. Allen Stanford
With several homes, including one in Antigua, and even his 112ft yacht, Texan Allen Stanford was living the billionaire life. He made his fortune through his investment firm which had offices around the World. His estimated $7 Billion in wealth was spent on a lavish lifestyle which included rubbing shoulder with politicians and spending $20 Million to have special cricket matches played in Antigua.
There was just massive problem. The money that Stanford was spending wasn’t his. The investment money he took from tens of thousands of people went right into his personal bank account. When the authorities finally caught him they stripped him of whatever money he had left and sent him to Jail for 110 years.
3. Larry Dodge
Unlike Allan Stanford, Larry Dodge made his fortune legally. The owner of an American bank, Dodge had an estimated $1 Billion, before the big financial crisis in 2009. You’d think someone who built their fortune through a bank would know something about managing money. Unfortunately, when the government seized his bank, Dodge found himself in the hole. It turns out he and his wife had blown every penny on a lavish lifestyle, which included $70,000 Gold piano and financial donations their bank account couldn’t match.
Now massively in debt, the Dodge is also facing a number of lawsuits from the institutes and school boards who had been promised millions in financial aid.
4. Sean Quinn
At one time the richest man in Ireland, Sean Quinn’s wealth was estimated at over $6 Billion in 2008. And by 2011, he had lost it all and was so far in debt that he was forced to file for bankruptcy. He started his way to billionaire status in the 1970s when he entered into the gravel and cement business. Over the years he started other business ventures, including opening a chain of hotels in his name and buying into the insurance and banking sector.
Things were great until 2008 when the banks suffered a large decline. Quinn’s businesses and investments lost billions and, when the dust settled, he had a little over $300 to his name.
5. Alberto Vilar
Alberto Vilar started his way to billionaire status in the late 1970s when he founded an investment firm. Decades later, he made billionaire status thanks to some well timed investments in online companies such as Yahoo! and AOL.
Unfortunately, when the tech bubble burst in the early 2000s, Vilar and his firm lost a lot of money which caused him greater problems considering he was pledging tens of millions to various operas and art centers. One thing led to another and before you knew it, Vilar found himself in Jail for such things as money laundering and fraud. If he has any cash left today, it’s no doubt going straight into the pockets of his lawyers.
6. Bernie Madoff
You can’t talk about Crooked billionaires without mentioning Bernie Madoff. This former investment advisor and stock broker was a billionaire. it’s just that the money technically wasn’t his. Madoff used his stellar reputation in the business world to fly under the radar of the authorities while he operated a massive ponzi scheme. Basically, he took large investments from one group of people and paid small returns to another group of investors while pocketing the profit himself. It’s estimated his scam involved upward of $65 Billion.
In 2009, he was convicted for his crime and is now serving a 150-year of sentence.
7. Patricia Kluge
Patricia Kluge didn’t earn her money through investments or criminal means. She started on the road to billionaire status thanks to a very large divorce settlement from her husband John Kluge, a very wealthy television and media mogul. Kluge received a 45 room mansion and 200 acre estate, as well as $1 Million a year as part of the settlement. Not content with this, she moved to create a nearly 1000 acre winery to establish the Kluge estate which also included a super-luxury subdivision project.
In 2008, the housing crisis hit and Kluge lost everything as investors backed out and property values dropped. Today, the winery still stands, it just has a different owner – Donald Trump.
8. Eike Batista
At one time this Brazilian businessman declared that he was going to be the richest person in the world. With about $30 Billion in 2012 Eike Batista was well on his way to that goal. He had made his fortune in the mining and oil industry.
In 2013, it all came to an end when his overly ambitious oil and natural gas projects in Brazil went under and his mining projects all suffered as a result of the global economic downturn. In the span of several months, Batista’s wealth dropped to around $200 Million. Things got even worse when he was accused of manipulating the market and the rest of his wealth was seized. Today, he is reportedly in debt to the tune of $1.2 Billion.
We hope you enjoy this post and don’t forget to share this piece with others.