Crime Did Pay For Awhile, For Most Of These Guys

How many times have we seen lists of the richest people in the world? It seems that several of these lists come out every year. It is interesting to know who has the most assets, but not very important to the average person. It is probably much more important to know who the most successful criminals are so that they can be caught and stopped. A list of the five all time biggest criminal earners was put out and I thought that it might be interesting to my readers to see. Some of these people are now pushing up daisies. So without further fanfare here is the list, supposedly in the order of richness:


Pablo Escobar
Photo Source: Public Domain

Pablo Emilio Escobar. You may remember when the government finally gunned him down in a raid as he was on the run. Supposedly he was the richest criminal ever. His fortune was listed as in excess of nine billion dollars. He was born in Columbia South America and was so rich he owned planes, ships and even submarines. Almost everyone in Medellin, his hometown, worked for him. He had tanks that he used and he even built the jail that later held him for awhile. Special Forces from the U.S. are said to have shot him, but I have also heard that he was shot by Colombian soldiers.


Carlos Lehder
Photo Source: Public Domain

Carlos Lehder also known as Carlos Enrique Lehder Rivas. This was a guy that worked with Escobar. He was a co-founder of the Medellin Cartel, one of the biggest illegal drug organizations in the world at the time. He managed to amass a huge fortune that some say was about three billion dollars or so. When I last checked, he was in prison.

Susumu Ishii. Ishii was one of the heads of the Japanese Ingawa-Kaui and managed to amass about 1.5 billion dollars. The Ingawa-Kaui was part of the Japanese Yokosuka and was the second largest syndicate in it. He died when the boom burst in Japan. At one time it is said that he was the richest gangster in the world. Prescott Bush, the brother of George Bush was hired by Ishii as an adviser. Prescott Bush denied knowing that Ishii was one of the richest gangsters in the world.

Anthony Salerno. Salerno was also known as Fat Tony and was one of the bosses of the American Cosa Nostra and the head boss for the Genovese crime family. While he was quite successful in amassing huge amounts of money, his fortune of about six hundred million dollars is tiny besides that of Escobar. He Died in prison when he was sentenced to 100 years.


Meyer Lansky
Photo Donated To The Library Of Congress For Public Use

Meyer Lansky is the last gangster on this list. It is said that he managed to amass over four hundred million dollars. He was one of the famous old time gangsters. Lansky was born in Russia and came to the U.S. at a young age. A lot of the money he made was in the 1930s and 1940s, which makes this even more amazing. This man actually bought his own bank in Switzerland to escape U.S. tax problems. He tried to move to Israel, but they wouldn't have him.

There were names left off the list however and no list would be complete without the names of Armado Carrillo Fuentes and Joaquin Guzman Loera.

Armando Carrillo Fuentes was born in Mexico. He had so many planes for flying drugs out of the country that he became known as, "El SeƱor de Los Cielos", the lord of the sky. This man was so powerful that he even made Escobar look like an amateur. It is said that he managed to amass a fortune of over twenty five billion dollars. He should be the number one guy on anyone's list of richest criminals. He believed in having a family business and brought in his brother and son. An interesting foot note is that he was constantly trying to change his appearance, so as to hide from the authorities. He died of complications during a plastic surgery operation to change his looks.

Joaquin Guzman Loera was another criminal from Mexico. He once managed to put together a shipment of cocaine that weighed 7.3, tons for export. Forbes Magazine had picked him as the 43rd most powerful person in the world. It is not clear how much he was worth, but it was probably also in the billions of dollars. Forbes had him listed at one billion dollars plus. The U.S. drug enforcement agency wanted this guy so bad that they posted a five million dollar reward for information leading to his capture. A Roman Catholic Archbishop named Hector Gonzalez announced where Loera was and it turned out to be in an area that the authorities knew about. He then killed undercover agents that were sent to arrest him.

When someone asked Yahoo, who was the one of the richest criminals in the world, a reader commented that John Palmer was a British Time Share Fraudster who was known as Goldfinger and he had sold about 600 million dollars worth of fraudulent time shares.

I am sure that if I could allot a couple of day's time to do research on an article about the richest criminals I would probably come up with a lot more names.

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