We begin our list with perhaps the most infamous white collar criminal of them all. Bernie Madoff was an American financier worth as much as $823 million at the end of 2008. But that has all changed. No longer does Madoff live in mansions in Montauk or Palm Beach. Now
he lives in the decidedly less plush confines of Butner Federal Correctional Institution where he is currently serving a 150 year prison sentence. More important than his work as a financier, stockbroker, and financial adviser, Madoff was a prolific fraudster and was convicted of running the mother of all Ponzi schemes, considered to be the largest financial fraud in U.S. history. A Ponzi scheme is a type of fraud wherein the operator pays investors the money paid in by new investors instead of a proper return on investment. Madoff has claimed that many of his investors must have known of his fraud but kept hiring him to invest their money. The very nature of a Ponzi scheme is unsustainable and when Madoff was finally found out, the amount of money missing was an eye-watering $65 billion.