10 Celebrities Who Lost Their Fortunes
Even though becoming a celebrity pretty much guarantees a heavy bank account, there are a few people out there who simply don’t know how to hold on to their money. Especially in cases of sudden wealth, people sometimes tend to spend much more than they can afford, since they are blinded by the illusion of infinite money, and this is particularly true when it comes to celebrities, since fame has an odd way of boosting one’s ego. Here is a list of 10 formerly successful celebrities who “flew too close to the Sun” and managed to lose it all.
1. M.C. Hammer
M.C. Hammer earned as much as $30 million during the 90s with his famous hit “Can’t touch this”, but he somehow managed to spend it all and even go in debt before 2000. This was mainly because he did not have anyone trustworthy at his side that would advise him financially. He spent most of his money on bad real estate investments, cars, expensive toys and extravagant parties.
Even though he definitely had his fun for a few years, M.C. Hammer is now nothing more than a pastor in California.
2. Jordan Belfort
Jordan Belfort did not lose his fortune because he spent too much but because he got caught by the feds. The famous multi-millionaire stockbroker was using his company called Stratton Oakmont to perform money laundering and security fraud. He did live the life of a king for a while, throwing his money on yachts, private planes, drugs and champagne, but he was soon caught and forced to relinquish his fortune as well as repay hundreds of millions to other stockbrokers.
After serving 22 months in prison and writing 2 memoires, Jordan Belfort is now a motivational speaker in California.
3. Allen Stanford
Allen Stanford is spending the rest of his life in prison but he was once used to an extremely lavish lifestyle that he funded through several investment schemes. You see, Allen was the Chairman of the Stanford Financial Group, and he used his elevated position to rob investors through a massive Ponzi scheme.
4. Sean Quinn
Irish businessman Sean Quinn can state with pride that he once had $6 billion. Once. In an attempt to bolster his riches even more, Sean invested $2.8 billion in the Anglo Irish Bank, but he did so with money borrowed from his own insurance company. In 2008, the economic crisis caused said bank to nearly collapse, which ruined Quinn and forced him to step down from his own company.
5. George Foreman
There are some famous personalities, however, that managed to bring themselves back from the brink of bankruptcy by earning back their fortunes. The best example is George Foreman, a 1968 Olympic gold medalist and former two-time Heavyweight Champion that was on the brink of poverty during the 1980s. In a desperate attempt to regain his title, Foreman entered the ring once more at the age of 45 in 1994 and defeated Michael Moorer.
GeorgeForeman is now famous for his George Foreman Grills, and he is quite close to boasting a fortune of $200 million.
6. Willie Nelson
Willie Nelson was a highly applauded country music singer that was ruined due to a $16.7 million debt to the IRS. In 1990, Willie was forced to declare bankruptcy, and so the IRS confiscated his real estate holdings and bank accounts.
Despite this financial tragedy, Willie released an album called “The IRS Tapes: Who’ll Buy My Memories”, and all profits from the sales went directly to the IRS. By 1993, Nelson was completely clean of debts.
7. Bjorgolfur Gudmundsson
Another victim of the financial crisis is Bjorgolfur Gudmundsson, who lost most of his fortune when a bank named Landsbankin ceased to exist. The Icelandic former billionaire had a fortune of $1.1 billion, but most of the money was tied up in the bank.
Nonetheless, Bjorgolfur Gudmundsson was also suspected of some fraud and embezzlement-related activities.
8. Johnny Unitas
Johnny Unitas was a highly successful quarterback who earned his fortunes through hard work and dedication. He was lucky enough to score major contracts with a few famous teams such as Indianapolis Colts in 1956 and San Diego Chargers in 1973.
He put his money in different businesses such as restaurants and real estate, but each and every business he invested in eventually went under, which caused him to file for bankruptcy in the 1990s.
9. Scott Eyre
As a victim of Allen Stanford’s fraudulent endeavors, Scott Eyre invested and lost almost all of his money. Scott is a former MLB pitcher for the San Francisco Giants, Toronto Blue Jays and Philadelphia Phillies. In 2009, he was so broke that he had to request an advance on his salary.
10. Kim Dotcom
Last but not least, we have Kim Dotco who is a German/Finnish Internet entrepreneur and hacker mostly known for the founding of Megaupload and Mega. His Megaupload online file sharing service was shut down by the FBI in 2012 because of copyright infringement. Kim was also charged with computer fraud, insider trading and embezzlement during the 90s, but this time around, he is actually accused of causing $500 million worth of damage to the entertainment industry.