For most people, creating a fortune is a daunting task. But when they have a fortune, many people find it difficult to keep it. Even the greatest fortune is doomed to perish in the end. But for some the end comes sooner than for others. Very often this goal has nothing to do with the people involved, but is just a whim of the world. A billionaire is usually expected to be shrewd enough to protect his wealth. However, sometimes situations can become difficult.
Bad economic scenarios, bad investments, or fraud can force billionaires to file for bankruptcy. Economic downturns are hard on everyone. But for billionaires, they can be disastrous. When people have that kind of money, it’s not stored somewhere as cash in a safe. This is in the form of things like real estate and business holdings. How much money a person is worth depends on how other people think those assets are worth. These estimates can change day, hour or even minute.
Here are the billionaires who went bankrupt.
In the article
- 1. Elizabeth Holmes
- 2. Patricia Kluge
- 3. Bernie Madoff
- 4. Vijay Mallya
- 5. Allen Stanford
- 6 Sean Quinn
- 7. Eike Batista
- 8. Jocelyn Wildenstein
- 9. Bjorgolfur Gudmundsson
- 10 Aubrey McClendon
1. Elizabeth Holmes
Elizabeth Holmes was once considered a rising star in Silicon Valley, but now she faces fraud charges. Theranos, the blood testing company she founded, said it has revolutionized the way patients are tested and disease is treated. In fact, the company was not even close to implementing the promised technology. In 2015, Forbes named her the youngest and richest female self-made billionaire, but the following year, after her technology became known, Forbes revised her net worth down to zero.
2. Patricia Kluge
Patricia Kluge invested the huge amount of money she received from her high-profile divorce case into the vineyard. After the housing market collapsed, she lost all her money. She even had to auction off all her jewelry and other possessions to save herself from bankruptcy. However, this did not work, and in June 2011, Kluge filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy.
3. Bernie Madoff
Bernie Madoff is credited with the biggest Ponzi scheme ever. He is currently serving a 150-year federal prison sentence. Last year, he petitioned for a merciful release on the grounds that he had less than two years to live due to kidney failure. However, his request was denied. Madoff was a financial industry veteran who founded Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC in 1960 and was even chairman of the NASDAQ.
4. Vijay Mallya
Vijay Mallya was a prominent Indian alcoholic magnate known for his fast-paced lifestyle. He also owned Kingfisher Airlines. However, in 2012, it was revealed that he had taken out several bank loans to keep his air travel business afloat. After Malya failed to make the necessary payments, he fled to the UK from India. The Indian government and banks are still making legal efforts to extradite him. He is charged with bank fraud and money laundering.
5. Allen Stanford
Allen Stanford is serving a 110-year sentence for participating in the second largest Ponzi scheme in the US. The Ponzi scheme has resulted in losses of around $7 billion for more than 18,000 investors who have not yet received any compensation for their losses. Many of Stanford’s clients were reportedly retirees to whom he promised solid investments. At 13, he was convicted on 2012 counts.
6 Sean Quinn
Sean Quinn was one of Ireland’s richest men, but the 2008 financial crisis forced him to file for bankruptcy in 2011. Quinn claimed at the time that his assets were less than £50,000 (compared to his net worth of $25 billion). He owned a 2008% stake in Anglo Irish Bank, but during the 2008 financial crisis, the bank had to bail out taxpayer money. It was handed over to the government.
7. Eike Batista
Oil baron Eike Batista was once the seventh richest man in the world. He began to lose money after his oil company OGX failed to meet its production targets. Batista’s financial problems worsened after Brazil’s economy struggled. In 2012, his fortune was estimated at $30 billion, and in 2017 he was charged with money laundering and corruption. He filed for bankruptcy.
8. Jocelyn Wildenstein
Jocelyn Wildenstein, popularly called “Catwoman” because of her appearance, was a big socialite. She reportedly spent $1 million a month on luxury purchases and $5,000 on her phone bill. In May 2018, she filed for bankruptcy, claiming she had $0 in her checking account. Wildenstein is the ex-wife of the late billionaire art dealer Alec Wildenstein.
9. Bjorgolfur Gudmundsson
Bjorgolfur Gudmundsson was once the second most powerful man in Iceland and held a large stake in Landsbanki. During the 2008 financial crisis, his bank failed and was taken over by the Icelandic government. Gudmundsson then filed for bankruptcy and Forbes revised his net worth from $1.2 billion to $0. He also had to sell his Premier League football team (West Ham United Football Club).
10 Aubrey McClendon
Chesapeake Energy co-founder Aubrey McClendon reportedly had a net worth of around $1.2 billion. However, in 2016, he was accused of unfairly manipulating drilling bids and charged with federal conspiracy. A day after the arraignment, McClendon died in a car accident. It is believed that he had huge outstanding debts and thus his net worth was close to zero when he died.