Convicted swindler Bernard Madoff was sentenced to 150 years after he revealed his $US65bn investment fund was "one big lie". It turned out he'd been running a giant Ponzi scheme whereby investors would be paid returns from other investments. Not a single trade in sight, investigators found.
Publishing magnate Conrad Black was sentenced to six years in jail after being found guilty of mail fraud and obstruction of justice. The Canadian-born British lord, and one-time proprietor of Australia's Fairfax, Black was caught stealing papers from Hollinger, the company he was charged with running.
Home decor guru Martha Stewart spent five months in jail after being convicted in an insider trading case. She's now back serving an active role in her company, Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, although because of an agreement she made with US regulators following her conviction, she's banned from running the company until 2011.
Prominent financier and cricket-lover Allen Stanford went on the run in June this year after US regulators alleged his $US8bn investment bank run out of Antigua was a giant Ponzi scheme. You may remember Mr Standford from such exploits as the Stanford Super Series, a $US20m cricket competition between England and an all-star team from the Caribbean .
Cardboard king Richard Pratt was facing criminal charges of lying to an ACCC inquiry into price fixing. All charges were dropped on account of his terminal cancer, which eventually claimed his life in April 2009.
Comedian and television personality Steve Vizard pleaded guilty in 2005 to a civil charge that he improperly used confidential information gleaned while a Telstra director. He was fined $390,000 and banned from holding directorships for 10 years.
Flamboyant businessman Rene Rivkin was sentenced to nine months periodic detention after being convicted for insider trading in 2003. Rivkin took his own life in May 2005
Enron founder Ken Lay was convicted for fraud and conspiracy in May 2006 after the energy giant spectacularly went bankrupt in late 2001. Lay died of a heart attack three months before sentencing, where he was expected to receive a 30-year jail term .
Rodney Adler and Ray Williams were jailed for their role in the collapse of what was Australia's second largest insurer HIH, with losses totalling more than $5 billion.
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