Looking at just some of the net worths that these criminals have managed to attain throughout their "careers", it really makes one question themselves what all the college studying is for. At the same time, all of these convicted criminals were eventually caught, having honestly thought that running multiple illegal businesses all around the world wouldn't catch up to them in the long run. Despite the fact that the majority of these criminals went on to lose their fortune (and their fame), it is quite surprising to see just how much they were able to make before being incarcerated. Doing something similar to what these criminals have done in their past may get you rich quick, but consider the consequences beforehand, as some of them have faced sentences of up to 30 years. All in all, is it worth it in the end? See below for 12 criminals with net worths that will certainly shock you!
12 Nicky Barnes: $105 million
Nicky Barnes, who is best known as New York’s “drug lord”, definitely had his share in the field of dangerous substances. The 82-year-old, who was eventually busted for numerous of criminal charges, he would eventually team up with the government in becoming their informant, which was said to have reduced his sentence significantly. Many of his former associates had allegedly been exposed through Nicky’s secretive work with the government that had once landed him a net worth of over $100 million.
11 Freeway Ricky Ross: $600 million
This man pretty much puts other drug deals to shame, particular because this gentleman was earning up to $3 million per day just from selling cocaine. You would’ve never thought that Freeway Ricky Ross was dealing drugs to earn his living, simply because his presence didn’t give off that kind of an impression. Would you consider a man in an expensive suit to be somebody affiliated with businesses revolving around drugs? That would’ve been his way of keeping his true identity hidden; dressing smart to give off the idea that he’s an authentic businessman, though, that couldn’t have been further from the truth. Rapper Rick Ross took this drug lord's name as an homage to the man with a $600 million dollar net worth.
10 George Jung: $10,000
Nobody was smuggling and selling drugs in the United States quite like George Jung. The 73-year-old, who was released from his hefty sentence just two years ago, was infamously known to have had one of the biggest influences on the cocaine trade during the late 1970s and early ‘80s. According to reports, George knew his way around the system, having smuggled endless amounts of cocaine from Colombia all the way back to the US, which evidently enough, saw his net worth rise to a whopping $100 million.
9 Rafael Caro Quintero: $650 million
Rafael Caro Quintero was said to have been one of the most dangerous criminals in the ‘70s, for he was considered everybody’s friend. If Rafael had problems with somebody he didn’t like, his drug-affiliated friends would “take care of it.” Quintero made an astonishing amount of money throughout his time as a drug dealer, grossing an incredible $650 million prior to being arrested for drug trafficking in the United States. He was released from prison in 2013.
8 Joseph Kennedy: $500 million
While you wouldn’t have thought that someone related to the former President of the United States would necessarily involve themselves in criminal affairs, Joseph Kennedy couldn’t help himself when he allegedly helped a gathering of people smuggle alcohol over to the USA. This supposedly went on for years, and some even believe that Joseph might have had his fair share in other illegal businesses too, but fortunately for this Kennedy, he was never charged with the crimes he was alleged to have committed.
7 Al Capone: $1.3 billion
This would have to be one of the smartest cocaine dealers in the history of drug lords since Al Capone always thought ahead. He never worried about getting caught by the police and this was because he had forged an image of himself that would see him give back millions of dollars to charity and homeless people. In other words, he would make millions a day from his drug business and give hundreds of thousands of dollars back to the community —that way, nobody would ever question where all of Capone’s money was coming from. In his lifetime, Al Capone made $1.3 billion.
6 Joaquín ‘El Chapo’ Guzmán: $1 billion
Presumably, the biggest drug lord with superstardom having surrounded him throughout his “career”, Joaquín ‘El Chapo’ Guzmán showed aspiring drug dealers how it’s done. The 61-year-old started the business fairly young — but as the chances to make more became more approachable, El Chapo smuggled incredible amounts of cocaine to the United States, this was all before he was even 25. Prior to his arrest, Joaquín had made a mouth-watering amount of $1 billion in earnings. And along the way, he was portrayed in several Hollywood movies, references in rap songs and had other famous actor play his character in multiple televised programs.
5 Griselda Blanco: $2 billion
While the men were known to have ruled the drug business at the time, Griselda Blanco clearly wanted in, hoping that she could also change her living habits for the better. Having grown up in a poor household, one can only imagine how Griselda must have felt when she had $2 billion in her bank account — this evidently gave her the freedom to do whatever she wanted. Her affiliation with other drug bosses led to her orders of having 200 people killed in the process. She might have been a woman, but she thought and acted just like the fellas.
4 The Ochoa Brothers: $6 billion
When the job as a cattle breeder didn’t work out as planned, the Ochoa brothers needed a new plan to make a significant amount of income. Cattle breeding most certainly wasn’t going to keep these three men happy, which would explain why they eventually decided to start their own business in the field of cocaine and heroin, selling the substance to anybody who was interested. Throughout their time as three of the most profitable drug lords in the United States, the Ochoa brothers made significant connections that would help them make a total net worth of $6 billion.
3 Dawood Ibrahim: $6.7 billion
What made Dawood Ibrahim such a significant figure in the drug business wasn’t that he had one of the largest incomes one had ever seen at the time, but more so for his connections with the likes of Al-Qaeda. Dawood wasn’t a man people could mess with — having built up a reputation for being a “no-nonsense” type of man, Kaskar formed the largest drug dealing group that India had ever seen at the time. His wise moves and smart business decisions ultimately led him to stagger up a $6.7 billion net worth.
2 Khun Sa: $5 billion
Who would’ve thought that the leader of the Shan United Army, who trained hundreds of his soldiers during the Chinese Civil War, would trade it in so that he can become another criminal in the drug business? Khun Sa’s situation was a little different since he already had a substantial income — not to forget that he was leading an army of people; giving them the instructions and orders. Eventually though, Khun had a helping hand in selling the increasingly popular heroin substance in the streets of New York during the 1970s and all the way up to the ‘90s. He had made $5 billion by then.
1 Pablo Escobar: $30 billion
Without a doubt the biggest drug lord of all time, Pablo Escobar was running multiple organizations in the illegal field all across the world, making him one of the most respected figure of his time. He was relatively known to have made up to $5 million every single day — some days, Pablo would see up to $10 million, depending on how fast things were being shipped to different states. All in all, Pablo’s net worth is definitely one of the most impressive sums you’ll have ever heard of: $30 BILLION! And that was all through the work of selling, shipping and buying drugs.
Considering dropping out of college yet?