Celebrities who got scammed include a number of victims of Bernie Madoff, but also famous people who've fallen for everything from tax-shelter fraud to ludicrous investment schemes. Famous people usually attract hangers-on looking for money, and sometimes they ensnare the celebrity in a scam. Since it's often impossible for celebrities to track their money closely, large sums of it can go missing without anyone knowing.
How is this possible? Ask Sting, who got taken for millions by a manager and didn't even realize it. Or Billy Joel, who had to sue his former manager for $90 million. Or Gary Coleman, whose parents robbed him of his earnings while he was still a child. Or even Kiefer Sutherland, who lost close to a million dollars in a cattle purchasing scheme. Sometimes the money can be recovered - but often, it's gone for good.Here are some celebrities that got scammed, famous people who got swindled, and notable stars who were robbed. Some were innocent victims, but others really should have known better.
Husband and wife actors Bacon and Sedgwick were heavily invested in the Ponzi scheme of Bernie Madoff, and lost an amount Bacon described as "a lot of f*cking money." The two appeared to take the loss in stride, reflecting on what they still had - including their family and the ability to work.
Birthplace: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States of America
Profession: Film Score Composer, Television director, Musician, Film Producer, Actor, + more
Credits: Footloose, Apollo 13, Mystic River, X-Men: First Class
Also Rankedsee more on Kevin Bacon
The broadcaster invested over $700,000 with Bernie Madoff and lost all of it when the scammer was arrested. King was fortunate and recovered all of it thanks to court-mandated repayments.
Birthplace: New York City, New York, United States of America
Profession: Talk show host, Journalist, Radio personality, Actor, Voice acting, + more
Credits: Larry King Now, Larry King Live, We're Back! A Dinosaur's Story, Larry King TNT Extra 3
Also Rankedsee more on Larry King
In 1995, Keith Moore, Sting's financial adviser for 15 years, was accused of using a complex financial system involving more than over 100 separate accounts to take more than 6 million British pounds ($9.8 million) from Sting without the rock star's knowledge. He then lost the money in a series of bad investments, including a restaurant chain, and a scheme to convert Russian military aircraft into passenger planes.The scam was allowed to go on for so long because Sting simply didn't notice that such a large amount of his money was gone. Moore claimed that the singer had given him money to settle Moore's tax debt. But nobody believed him, and Moore was sentenced to six years in prison.
Birthplace: Wallsend, United Kingdom
Profession: Film Score Composer, Record producer, Musician, Singer-songwriter, Actor, + more
Credits: Léon: The Professional, The Emperor's New Groove, Cold Mountain, Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls
#27 on The Best Rock Vocalistssee more on Sting
In 2010 the actor made $100,000 in a cattle-buying scheme run by a man named Michael Wayne Carr. The scheme involved using Sutherland’s money to buy livestock in Mexico and sell it in the US at a higher price. So when Carr asked Sutherland for an additional $869,000 to buy more cows, and therefore make more easy money, Sutherland jumped on it.
Instead, he fell for a clever form of advance fee fraud. The cow-transporting con man used Sutherland's money to pay off personal bank loans instead. Carr was quickly arrested, pleaded guilty to forgery and fraud, and was ordered to pay Sutherland back as a way of reducing his prison sentence.
Birthplace: Paddington, London, United Kingdom
Profession: Television director, Television producer, Film Producer, Actor, Voice acting, + more
Credits: The Lost Boys, 24, Phone Booth, Mirrors
#19 on The Greatest '80s Teen Starssee more on Kiefer Sutherland