Criminals usually find it difficult to find steady employment after they serve a sentence. Thus, many of them resort to their own means to make money. And, some of them even manage to become rich. Here is our list of top 4 criminals who became millionaires, or, in one case, a billionaire.
1. Top Criminal on Billionaires List: Martha Stewart
Martha Stewart is one of the most famous stories of all time. Martha started her media empire from scratch and became one of the self-made millionaires. Then, Martha became a billionaire for the second time while she served a sentence. After Martha Stewart made the news on an insider trading case, she went to prison for obstruction of justice and conspiracy regarding lies surrounding a trade. As she was in prison, her public media company’s stock rose. Martha became a billionaire, again.
2. Top Criminal on Millionaires List: Mark Erwin
Mark Erwin went from being a felon to being a self-made millionaire by the time he was 40. He started writing fraudulent checks when he was 16, faking his mother’s signature to get cash. The judge allowed him to exchange 4 years of prison time for serving in the military. Then, in the military, Mark Erwin read 2 books that changed his life: “Think and Grow Rich” by Napoleon Hill and “The Power of Positive Thinking” by Norman Vincent Peale. He decided to become a millionaire by the time he was 40, even though he had no education, nor resources. So, he worked his way up. When he had enough money, he started investing in real estate.
3. Top Criminal on Millionaires List: Mark Wahlberg
Mark Wahlberg had a history of racism. When he was young, he stole cars at the age of 13. When he was 15, his friends and he physically attacked black people. This included a group of schoolchildren and their teacher. However, what got him into prison was robbing a Vietnamese man and beating him unconscious. When he fled, another Vietnamese man offered him sanctuary; and, Mark Wahlberg smashed his face.
In prison, Mark started working out for self-protection. When he got out, his brother Donnie helped him set up an album. Then, a few years later, he landed a film role, following which he let go of his music career. So far, he has not committed a hate crime since. His net worth is around $255 million.
4. Top Criminal on Millionaires List: Danny Trejo
Danny Trejo is a famous name in Hollywood. He is the guy who plays the convicts, and he is instantly recognizable. Well, Danny started out as a youth who had a drug addiction and robbed convenience stores with his looks. He got into prison for these stunts, but he changed and participated in a 12-step drug rehab program. As a drug counselor, he went to a set to help a client who was a film production assistant. At the set, he caught the film director’s eye. The director asked Trejo if he could look like a convict for a role in Runaway Train. Following this, Danny Trejo went on to star in numerous TV and film roles. His net worth is estimated to be $16 million.