Henry Ford, one of the greatest industrialists of all time, once said, “A business that makes nothing but money is a poor business.” He was a visionary and an innovator who took pride in ethical capitalism.
Despite his place in the history books there are other business leaders who accuse Ford of lacking ambition. Fair wages and high quality goods are one thing, but this list of ’10 Most Crooked Business Leaders Of All Time’ proved that some people will always think the best way to make a fortune is to cut a few corners – quite often at the expense of others.
10. Sam Israel III
Sam Israel III, born July 20, 1959, wasn’t content with the comfortable lifestyle of running a successful hedge fund, the Bayou Hedge Fund Group, which he founded in 1996. He had his eyes set on a larger prize – the history books. As always with these things Israel wound up in handcuffs, but no-one could have expected how far his idiocy would take him.
He had already made a splash when he was indicted in one of the biggest hedge fund frauds in American history, after misappropriating around $450million worth of funds for personal use, but along the way he hatched an escape plan. Shortly before his prison due date he faked his suicide. His abandoned SUV had the words ‘suicide is painless’ scrawled on the hood, which presumably he thought sealed the deal. Police investigators disagreed. Especially when CCTV footage showed him parking the vehicle, writing the message and escaping in a get away car. Israel was never good at covering his tracks.
He spent a month on the run and reached another milestone when he made the US Marshal’s Most Wanted list. He stayed there even when his girlfriend was arrested for her participation in his bogus suicide. But he decided to finally hand himself in after a stern talking to from his own mother. On April 14, 2008, Israel was sentenced to 20 years in prison and ordered to forfeit $300 million after pleading guilty to defrauding investors.