The Top 10 Millionaires & Billionaires Who Lost It All

The Top 10 Millionaires & Billionaires Who Lost It All

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losing multi millions of dollars of money

As the famous saying goes, “The brightest flame burns the quickest“.  There are plenty of successful entrepreneurs who quickly rise to financial success, only to lose everything just as abruptly.

Life in the fast lane is not without its speed bumps, and here are some of the people who went from rags to riches – and then vice-versa.


The Millionaires & Billionaires Who Lost It All


1. Jordan Belfort

The once was Multi-Millionaire stockbroker had it all. Yachts, planes, women, midget throwing parties & drugs where just a few of the high life activities on Jordans agenda. Jordan was reported to be making $250 Million at the age of 25 through his stockbroking firm Stratton Oakmont which functioned like a boiler room and later served  as inspiration for the creation of the film also known as ‘Boiler Room‘, starring Vin Diesel & Giovanni Ribisi. Jordan Belfort’s multi millions where stripped from him when the FBI pinned him for securities fraud and money laundering.

After Jordan Belforts release from jail and paying back the 100 millions of dollars he owed other stock brokers Jordan decided to turn his life around releasing the New York Best Seller ‘Catching The Wolf Of Wall Street‘ which was written by Jordan himself about his Wall Street sagas and his run ins with the law. This Book has been developed into a movie which will be directed by Martin Scorsese starring Leonardo DiCaprio as Jordan Belfort. Jordan also has toured the world discussing how to achieve success without sacrificing integrity and ethics.

The lesson here is that there is always room for change, if Jordan can change his life for the good, you can too.


2. Kim Dotcom

This German internet millionaire is most popularly known as the founder of Megaupload, an online file sharing service. Kim Dotcom’s fall from grace isn’t really because of bad business decisions as much as he was involved in a lot of suspected criminal activities.  While his website is being accused of copyright infringement, he’s also been charged with insider trading, embezzlement, and computer fraud. The problem with Kim is not only that he couldn’t handle his rock star lifestyle, but also the fact that he amassed his fortune through suspected illegal means.

UPDATE: Kim Dotcom has returned with a more legit way of sharing with his new online company MEGA. We will keep you updated with his progress. Good on you Kim for having another go and doing things right.


3. Allen Stanford

Currently in jail and awaiting trial, this former billionaire was charged with running a multi-billion dollar Ponzi Scheme.  Having acted as the Chairman of Stanford Financial Group, he’s been accused of masterminding a financial conspiracy to rob investors out of their hard-earned money and misused their funds to sustain his extravagant lifestyle. Like Kim Dotcom, he tried living the good life at the expense of others and is now reaping the consequences of his actions.  As of today, Allen Stanford is taking a number of medications for his depression and is even partially blind after an inmate assaulted him.




4. M.C. Hammer

MC Hammer rose to fame in the 1990s and earned around $30 Million during the peak of his musical career.  Shortly after his success, M.C. Hammer wasted no time squandering his fortune on mansions, sharing money with friends and expensive toys. Before the decade was over, he filed for bankruptcy due to an enormous debt.  He’s a classic example of someone earning his wealth too fast and too soon, which made it hard for him to handle his finances. Now living as a pastor in California, he learned the hard way that one should learn from their mistakes and consider the consequences of a decision before making it.




5. Sean Quinn

Only a few years ago, this Irish businessman was worth $6 Billion.  However, he quickly lost it all after he invested twenty five percent (25%) in Anglo Irish Bank.  However, his mistake was to use money he borrowed from his own insurance company.  When a financial crisis swept his country, his Anglo Irish shares suffered and caused him billions in debt.  What people can learn from Sean Quinn’s example is that itís alright to take risks only if youíve done your homework to avoid getting burned after taking the plunge.




6. Patricia Kluge

She’s the wife of the late John Kluge who was worth billions himself during the late 90s.  Following their divorce in 1990, Patricia Kluge began to market a 960-acre vineyard that was supposed to appeal to an ultra-rich clientele.  She loaned close to $70 million just to put up facilities, but eventually the real estate crisis in the late 2000s caused her venture to fail and the property foreclosed.  The lesson to remember here is that successful entrepreneurs shouldnít put all their eggs in one basket.  Otherwise, you can easily lose everything in one swift stroke.





7. Bjorgolfur Gudmundsson

Hailing from Iceland, this former billionaire saw his net worth dwindle down to zero after he and his son/business partner Thor got hit by the credit crisis in their country.  They were major shareholders in a bank called Landsbankiñ when it went under, so did their assets.  Like some of the others on this list, Bjorgolfur Gudmundsson too was involved in illegal activities such as fraud and embezzlement in the past.Karma is b!tch, aint it!





8. George Foreman

This heavyweight champion became riddled with financial woes when his boxing career lost steam in the late 70s.  Naturally, the money stopped coming in and he became overwhelmed with credit card debt and unpaid loans.  Fortunately for George Foreman, he bounced back from his situation by getting back in the ring as well as investing in the popular TV shopping product called the Foreman Grill.





9. Johnny Unitas

This legendary quarterback earned hundreds of thousands of dollars at a time because of his unmatched prowess on the field.  He starred in professional football before salaries were measured in millions. His yearly contracts ranged from $7,000, his first in 1956 with the Colts, to $250,000 plus a $175,000 bonus in his last one with the San Diego Chargers in 1973. Johnny Unitas put his money into the different industries he dabbled in, such as real estate, restaurants, and manufacturing.  Unfortunately, these businesses failed and they were forced to file for bankruptcy by the 90s. He died 11 years later with a lawsuit from his estate hanging over all of his businesses.




10. Scott Eyre

Scott Eyre was a former pitcher for the MLB and played for likes of the Toronto Blue Jays and Chicago Cubs.  He was one of Allen Stanford’s victims who invested in his fraudulent billion-dollar scheme which cost Scott almost all of his money.  As such, he is proof that we shouldn’t invest in something until we’ve thoroughly assessed the risks as well as the person or entity behind it. Steve Jobs once said that perfectly normal folks can turn into ‘bizarro people’ when they suddenly come upon wealth.



Indeed, losing control and common sense is one of the biggest risks that successful entrepreneurs face. Rich people are human and therefore just as fallible as everyone else. If you don’t want to share the same fate as them, make sure to exercise financial intelligence by either learning about it yourself or consulting with someone who can help you use sound judgment.  Just because you have piles of cash, it doesn’t automatically mean you already know how to handle it properly. Don’t fall prey to materialism.  Money is fleeting, and you may not be able to afford the finer things in life if you take a hit tomorrow.  This is why you should always make a conscious effort to live within your means and hold off buying something until you’ve thought it through.


Article By Joel Brown |


  1. “The lesson here is that there is always room for change, if Jordan can change his life for the good, you can too.” Except he hasn’t changed because he was ordered to pay back 110 of the 200+ million he stole and has of yet only paid 11 million, most of which came from the government seizing his property and has also decided that he is not going to keep his (federally binding) agreement to give half his salary (which was in the millions last year because of the movie, speeches and book deal). He changed his life by finding another way to scam people out of their money.

  2. “The greatest risk of all is not taking the risk” So many people come up with great ideas, new inventions and never do a thing about it. Fortunes can be made just by selling your ideas or new inventions. It worked for me. I retired at the age of 53 with a net worth just over ten million dollars. Don’t hold on, never get sentimental over what you created, get in and get out!

  3. It is a bitter pill to swallow for these people and no matter how great the loss the important thing is you are never alone . It took financial loss for me to see the real world and values.

  4. Just so everyone nos Sean Quinn has now received 70& of his companies back and will soon have it all back. Although none of this is on the internet,newspapers and media ect. The court cases against him have been dropped because the loans were illegal and the Irish government are as corrupt as f**k been all it has hush hush! The truth will come out! Go Sean Quinn!! Legend!

  5. I too had success come quickly and lost it. Not to the degree of these people. But, it is interesting to see how people came back from it. To those whom much is given much is required. Its and inspiration to make it, but keeping it and helping others is what counts.

    I’m thankful for this information and would love to hear more about how you suggest people keep it.

    Great work thought. I look forward to more from you.

    • Hi Joshua,
      Im sorry to hear about your loss. Im in a similar situation and am hoping to bounce back. Just hang in there and do the best you can to rebuild. Most people will never understand how hard it is to make in in business
      Take care

  6. Great stories! I’d like to learn more in depth about the guys who were successful, lost it all, then rebounded back to success. For example, could you do an in-depth post about George Forman?

    Thanks, good blog!

  7. Up until now I have found your site both informative and reflective – I am starting to re-think your value – my issue is your description of Kim Dotcom – my understanding is he has not been charged with anything – he has had his site closed down and property seized ahead of the USA government applying for his extradition from New Zealand and that charges will be laid once (and only if) the USA government is successful with their application for extradition – what has happened to the principle of innocence until proven guilty – in the absence of the outcome of a trial he has not done anything crimminal and your criticism of his lifestyle is more a reflection of the bias of the writer – my view is at the very least you owe the man an apology (for the sake of clarity I have never met the man and having followed the case through the media I have more questions about both our respective governments and whether in fact we are seeing an abuse of the system and process – time and money will tell)

    • I would love to see a followup to this story. I know that MC Hammer made some more money with the reality show that he did and I’m curious what has happened with Kim Dotcom’s new company.

    • What a big shock that of course on the internet you’ll immediately get someone to come to the defense of arch narcissist “kimdotcom”. Why? Because on the internet people pick and choose the laws they feel should be followed, so he becomes “Robin Hood”. Anyone who has *actually* “followed his cases” knows that he has been stealing things that he feels he’s entitled to, and selling them, since he was a kid. He was also involved in a pump and dump scam every bit as bit and sleazy as Jordan Belfort and fled to Thailand to avoid answering for it. This is a scumbag criminal who commits crimes, laughs about it, makes millions and dodges extradition all while his idiot “fans” cheer him on and support him because he facilitates the download of copyrighted material and thats all they care about. What a bunch of bullshit. The authors description was TOO KIND actually.

  8. Great article, I would like to add this coment. Dont judge a man on how far he as rised, judge a man on how far he has rised after his fall.

  9. Cool article.

    Looked on IMDB and didn’t see any films in pre-production for Leonardo or Martin for the film “Catching the Wolf of Wall Street”…where did can I find that info on the web? Usually, it will be on IMDB with a future date of 2013.

  10. So simple, yet so profound… Thats what comes to my mind when I read the lessons learned from these people. Its amazing how following COMMON SENSE is still a WISE practice. One lesson missing here is this… It takes time to learn how to handle success. If one isn’t mentally and emotionally prepared for LARGE AMOUNTS OF MONEY, it WILL destroy them!


  11. Lovely article and it teaches a lot of sense. Aside putting your eggs in one basket, i guess one other lessons we must learn is this, KARMA IS A B!TCH!

    No matter the crisis, if you do not put your money in sh!t or dr!gs, you will never go with the crisis.


  12. Stick to the law; do your due diligence; accept failure and plain unluckiness- be persistent and don’t give in

  13. I’m still entirely shocked about Kim Dotcom, Megaupload was the best online sharing files website ever. He was also a mercedes enthusiast like myself. I hope this isn’t the end for megaupload. Because like me, many users uses megaupload on a daily basis

  14. I really enjoyed reading about these people. While reading their profiles and life the thing that keep coming to mind was the importance of a persons character. Great post.

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