It appears as though the more money one has, the more they want...almost like an addiction. And the more money evil people can acquire, the more evil it enables them to do.
And the more money they have, the more inclined they are to also evade paying taxes.
Money may not be the root of all evil, but it certainly seems to be at the root of most evil. From the bankers to the CEOs, from the hedge fund mangers to the doctors...the top 1%.
Yes, I know, and there are also a few drug kingpins, politicians, dictators, and gang members too - - but I just wanted to focus on the "pillars of our society" and the "captains of our industry" and our "job creators" for the sake of this post.
The TV show American Greed explores the darker side of the American Dream, and I've used their list of episodes, along with a few other additions of my own, to show you who the Republicans such as Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum, Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul think should all pay less in federal income taxes.
Obviously the list below isn't complete, and many more are presently engaged in these ongoing activities, and may or may never be caught...but you'll get the idea.
NOTE: I didn't include heiresses such as Kim Kardashian and Paris Hilton on this list because they were never arrested or convicted of any major crimes.
Personally, I would list the bank bailouts as the biggest financial fraud ever in the history of the U.S. - - but check out this list of "job creators" from our past (excluding AL Capone and other notable mobsters):
- Bernie Madoff holds the world-record for biggest Ponzi scheme in history. Madoff stole billions while chairing the Nasdaq and maintaining cushy relationships at the SEC. He received the maximum sentence of 150 years in prison.
- Joseph P. Nacchio - The CEO of Qwest Communications International. He was convicted of 19 counts of insider trading in Qwest stock and was sentenced to six years in federal prison
- Kenneth Lay and Jeffery Skilling -- Enron -- Total Scammed: $74 Billion.
- Thomas Joseph Petters - The former CEO and chairman of Petters Group Worldwide and convicted for turning his company into a $3.65 billion Ponzi scheme. He received a 50 year federal prison sentence.
- Raffaello Follieri was accused of misappropriating a $50 million investment from billionaire Ronald Burkle meant to buy up Roman Catholic churches. Bishop Joseph Anthony Galante was implicated in the scandal.
- Dr. Gerald Barnbaum - Medicaid fraud, mail fraud, identity theft, sexual battery, medical malpractice and second-degree murder.
- Eugene Plotkin and David Pajcin, both formerly of Goldman Sachs, were the masterminds behind a complex Wall Street con and a scam using strippers to solicit information from Wall Street bankers.
- Richard Scrushy - He was once the superstar CEO of HealthSouth, a huge provider of outpatient rehab services until federal prosecutors accused him of masterminding a $2.7 billion fraud.
- Samuel Israel III turns his wall street hedge fund, "Bayou Investments", into a Ponzi scheme after poor management, then attempts a fake suicide to flee prosecution.
- Dennis Kozlowski - He was once described as "The Most Aggressive CEO in America," now sits behind bars. A poster boy of excess, the former CEO of Tyco stole millions from his company, using the money for a lavish party, a gilded shower curtain and expensive art.
- Dr. Jorge Martinez - Expensive, painful and unnecessary shots, all part of a multi-million dollar billing scheme.
- Anthony Elgindy - "The Mad Max of Wall Street" - The founder of Pacific Equity Investigations was a short seller who made millions in a trading scam using government secrets.
- Lou Pearlman - The manager of bands like *NSYNC and The Backstreet Boys and masterminded scams of $500 million from investors in the longest running Ponzi scheme.
- Al Parish - An economics professor and a trusted financial advisor was sentenced to federal prison after pleading guilty to financial fraud. Nearly 600 people lost up to $90 million invested in Parish Economic's private investment "pools."
- Dr. Ronald Mikos - The story of a another murderous Chicago doctor who bilked Medicare.
- Sholam Weiss - He helps fix the National Heritage Life Insurance's gaping $35 million accounting hole, and ends up partnering up with them - and bilking customers out of $500 million. He was sentenced to 845 years in prison.
- Robert W. McLean - An investment manager and arts patron who traveled by limousine and ran a Ponzi scheme that had siphoned tens of millions of dollars from close friends and business associates. He eventually killed himself.
- Stephen Trantel was once a Wall Street insider, a broker making hundreds of thousands of dollars in the Manhattan trading pits. After becoming unemployed, he started robbing banks.
- Nancy Kissel murders her husband Robert Kissel, who had been a vice president in Goldman Sachs' Asian special situations group. His brother, Andrew Kissel, who had been accused of defrauding a New York co-op board of millions of dollars, was found murdered at his rented Greenwich, Connecticut estate.
- Troy Titus - A disbarred and disgraced attorney who was sentenced to 30 years in federal prison for defrauding clients and friends out of more than $8 million in Ponzi scheme.
- Alberto Vilar - An investor who was known as "a patron of opera". He was tried and convicted in November 2008 on charges of money laundering, investment advisor fraud, securities fraud, wire fraud and mail fraud, and was sentenced in February 2010 to nine years in prison.
- Dr. Vilas Likhite - An elaborate sting operation exposes a doctor and former Harvard Medical School professor who was stripped of his medical license and began a new career as a con man selling fake art treasures.
- Danny Pang - He was the CEO of Private Equity Management Group who ran a Ponzi scheme and made millions betting on when people will die. His wife, ex-stripper Janie Louise Pang, was murdered in the Villa Park house, possibly by a contract killer, after she took steps toward a divorce. He has also since died. Wall Street Journal
- Marc Harris promised financial freedom to people with off-shore bank accounts as a way to keep assets out of the reach of government. But the "guru" was running a Ponzi scheme and bilking clients out of millions of dollars.
- Greater Ministries International - A story of religious fraud and a $500 million dollar pyramid scheme.
- Robert Allen Stanford - He was the chairman of the now defunct Stanford Financial Group and was a sponsor of professional sports - - now accused of a massive Ponzi scheme.
- Larry Salander - One of the biggest names in New York’s art world (Salander-O’Reilly Galleries), but collectors see red when he swipes more than $100 million from their pockets.
- Sholom Mordechai Rubashkin - The former CEO of Agriprocessors, now-bankrupt slaughterhouse and meat packing plant. He was convicted of 86 counts of financial fraud, including bank fraud, mail and wire fraud and money laundering. In June 2010, he was sentenced to 27 years in prison.
- William “Boots” Del Biaggio III - A venture capitalist and former co-owner of the hockey team San Jose Sharks. He was sentenced to eight years in prison and more than $67.4 million in restitution for misappropriating funds from individual investors he advised.
- Scott W. Rothstein - A disbarred lawyer and the former managing shareholder, chairman, and chief executive officer of the now-defunct Rothstein Rosenfeldt Adler law firm. He was accused of funding a massive 1.2 billion dollar Ponzi scheme.
- The Baptist Foundation of Arizona - Their fraud led to the largest collapse of a religious financial institution in U.S. history.
- John Bennett - His Foundation for New Era Philanthropy operated a notorious Ponzi scheme. After having raised over $500 million from 1100 donors, he embezzled $135 million.
- Martin Frankel - A financier and con-man who vanished with $200 million dollars. A story of money laundering, prostitution, bizarre sex and drug abuse.
- Eric Stein - Masterminded one of the largest Ponzi schemes in Nevada history, cost his victims nearly $34 million.
- Reverend Abraham Kennard - As many as 1600 churches nationwide are swindled out of $10 million.
- Reed Eliot Slatkin - An ordained Scientology minister and co-founder of EarthLink was the perpetrator of one of the largest Ponzi schemes in the United States since Charles Ponzi himself.
- Robert Ray Courtney - A former pharmacist who owned and operated Research Medical Tower Pharmacy. He was convicted of pharmaceutical fraud and sentenced to federal prison.
- Bernard Ebbers - The CEO of WorldCom becomes the poster child for everything that went wrong on Wall Street in the 1990s. WorldCom's eventual downfall shakes the financial community and the lives of thousands of investors.
- Stefan Wilson - Operated a fraudulent investment fund. His Ponzi scheme took almost $13 million from over 50 investors and landed him 20 years in prison.
- Marc Dreier is a high-powered lawyer with celebrity clients. But Dreier is a conman and steals more than $700 million from hedge funds.
- Dr. Michael Rosin - Convicted of telling patients they had cancer and performing unneeded operations, now sentenced to 22 years for fraud.
- Arthur Nadel - Manages the hedge fund Scoop Management Co, a $350 million fund. In the blink of an eye, he disappears and leaves clients without their life savings.
- Joseph Medawar - A television producer runs a scam to rob investors out of millions of dollars.
- Barton Harry Watson - One the chairman of Cybernet, a wildly successful global technology company, he stood accused of stealing millions in an elaborate fraud.
- Dr. Mark Weinberger – A self-proclaimed “nose doctor” – has it all and isn’t afraid to flaunt it. But inside The Weinberger Sinus Clinic, all is not what it seems. Malpractice and fatalities are now on his resume.
- Dana Giacchetto - Advised Hollywood's hottest stars (from Leonardo diCaprio to Ben Affleck) But his star-power faded when nearly $10 million goes missing, for which he spent 5 years in prison.
- Alfred Taubman - A wealthy art collector and the former chairman of Sotheby's who is now a convicted felon for the price-fixing scandal at Christie's and Sotheby's.
- Matt Cox and Rebecca Hauck team up to make millions in the real estate fraud.
- Nevin Shapiro - A University of Miami football booster who is currently imprisoned for orchestrating a $930 million Ponzi scheme. He even purchased a yacht on which sex parties with prostitutes were held.
- Kenneth Starr - An accountant to stars like Sylvester Stallone, Diane Sawyer, and Wesley Snipes, but mismanages his clients’ money, pockets millions, and then he marries an exotic dancer. But then later he gets more than seven years behind bars for a multimillion-dollar investment scheme.
(Pictured below) Kenneth Starr (67) and his stripper wife, Diane Passage (37). New York Magazine says she's one of the greatest hustlers of our time (And all this time I thought Anna Nicole Smith was the ultimate "gold digger".)
The New York Daily News reports that while Diane Passage was not charged with any crime (as of this post), sources said Kenneth Starr secured her love by buying her fabulous baubles - and even a boob job - with other people's money. He bought her all the latest designer fashion and really expensive jewelry, as well as Alexander McQueen dresses, Giuseppe Zanotti shoes and furs. For one of her birthdays, Kenneth Starr rented out a Manhattan club and hired the rock band Everclear. He funded her charity which raised money through pole-dancing competitions.
And the Republicans such as Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum, Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul think all these people need more tax breaks?