American Fraudsters

This ranking is based on an algorithm that combines various factors, including the votes of our users and search trends on the internet.

Rank the Most Wicked American Fraudsters

 1 
H. H. Holmes
(Serial Killer)

H. H. Holmes
42
Birthdate: May 16, 1861
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Gilmanton, New Hampshire, United States
Died: May 7, 1896
American serial killer H.H. Holmes was sentenced to death for the murder of his accomplice Benjamin Pitezel but confessed to 27 murders and might have killed almost 200 people. He had set up a hotel, later known as the Murder Castle, specifically for this purpose. He inspired a bestselling book.

 2 
Frank Abagnale
(Impostor, Fraudster)

Frank Abagnale
36
Birthdate: April 27, 1948
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Bronxville, New York, United States

Frank Abagnale’s life story inspired the film Catch Me If You Can. He was a con man, imposter and did check forgery from the age 15 to 21. He assumed the identities of an airline pilot, a physician and a lawyer, among others. He was eventually arrested and after spending few years in prison started working for the federal government.

 3 
Jordan Belfort
(Author of 'The Wolf of Wall Street')

Jordan Belfort
31
Birthdate: July 9, 1962
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: The Bronx, New York, United States
The former stock broker, who was convicted for stock-market manipulation and cheating several investors, Jordan Belfort spent 22 months in prison before he was released and altered his way of living. Using his life experiences, he became a motivational speaker and also authored two memoirs, one of which, The Wolf of Wall Street, was adapted into an award winning film.
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 4 
Ross Ulbricht
(Drug Trafficker)

Ross Ulbricht
15
Birthdate: March 27, 1984
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Austin, Texas
Ross Ulbricht, or "Dread Pirate Roberts,” created the dark market site Silk Road, which let people make anonymous drug deals, using bitcoins. He was eventually convicted of a number of crimes, including hacking and money laundering, and was sentenced to a double life imprisonment plus 40 years without parole.

 5 
Arnold Rothstein
(Racketeer)

Arnold Rothstein
6
Birthdate: January 17, 1882
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: nhattan, New York City, New York
Died: November 6, 1928

Arnold Rothstein, or the Brain, was a racketeer, gambler, and businessman who later became a leader of New York’s Jewish crime circuit. He had reportedly fixed the 1919 World Series. He inspired several fictional characters, including Meyer Wolfsheim in The Great Gatsby. He was murdered for declining a poker-related payment.

 6 
Danny Porush
(Fraudster)

Danny Porush
2
Birthdate: January 17, 1882, 1957
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Lawrence, New York

Entrepreneur and former stock broker Daniel Mark Porush, better known as Danny Porush, was convicted of fraud and money laundering at Stratton Oakmont, a brokerage house. Following his 39-month prison sentence, he began working with Med-Care. He inspired the character Donnie Azoff in The Wolf of Wall Street.

 7 
Charles Ponzi
(Con Artist)

Charles Ponzi
6
Birthdate: March 3, 1882
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Lugo, Italy
Died: January 18, 1949

Charles Ponzi was an Italian con artist and swindler who operated in Canada and the USA. He is best remembered for his money-making scheme in which he paid his earlier investors using the money given to him by later investors. Although this type of swindling investment scheme existed before Ponzi's time, it came to be known as a Ponzi scheme.

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 8 
William M. Tweed
(Member of the New York Senate from the 4th district (1868-73))

William M. Tweed
0
Birthdate: April 3, 1823
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: New York, New York, United States
Died: April 12, 1878

William M. Tweed was an American politician best known for serving as the boss of Tammany Hall, which had a major influence on the political scene of 19th-century New York State. He was later convicted for stealing millions of dollars from New York City taxpayers. His life and career inspired several films, such as Up in Central Park and Liberty.

 9 
Lee Israel
(Author)

Lee Israel
0
Birthdate: December 3, 1939
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Brooklyn, New York City, New York, USA
Died: December 24, 2014

Starting as a freelance writer, Lee Israel later penned bestselling biographies of personalities such as Tallulah Bankhead and Estée Lauder. She made headlines when she admitted to forging works of deceased authors and actors to make money. Her memoir, Can You Ever Forgive Me?, was later turned into a film.

 10 
Allen Stanford
(Financier)

Allen Stanford
0
Birthdate: March 24, 1950
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Mexia, Texas, United States

 11 
Peter Popoff
(Televangelism)

Peter Popoff
1
Birthdate: July 2, 1946
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: East Berlin, Germany

Peter Popoff is a German-born American faith healer, debunked clairvoyant, and televangelist. Popoff used a concealed earpiece to receive information about people suffering from ailments during his religious services and claimed that God divulged the information to him. The scam was exposed in 1986 and led to the creation of several works of art, including the film Leap of Faith.

 12 
Andrew Fastow
(Former CFO of Enron)

Andrew Fastow
2
Birthdate: December 22, 1961
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Washington, D.C., USA

 13 
Robert L. Vesco
(American financier)

Robert L. Vesco
0
Birthdate: December 4, 1935
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Detroit, Michigan, United States
Died: November 23, 2007

 14 

Bhaktipada
2
Birthdate: September 6, 1937
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Peekskill, New York, USA
Died: October 24, 2011

Vaishnava guru and New Vrindaban co-founder Kirtanananda Swami, better known as Bhaktipada, was born into a Baptist family. In spite of receiving a fellowship to study at Columbia University, he quit academics and joined ISKCON instead. He was later expelled from ISKCON after he was found guilty of child molestation.

 15 
Ryan Leaf
(American Football Player)

Ryan Leaf
3
Birthdate: May 15, 1976
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Great Falls, Montana, USA

 16 
Jasiel Correia
(44th Mayor of Fall River, Massachusetts)

Jasiel Correia
1
Birthdate: December 11, 1991
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Fall River, Massachusetts, United States

 17 
Martin Shkreli
(Former Hedge Fund Manager and Convicted Felon)

Martin Shkreli
15
Birthdate: March 17, 1983
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Brooklyn, New York, United States
Martin Shkreli, founder and former CEO of Turing Pharmaceuticals, received a 7-year prison sentence for securities fraud after he secured the manufacturing license for Daraprim and raised its price from $13.50 to $750 per pill. He had bought the only copy of the album Once Upon a Time in Shaolin.

 18 
Elizabeth Holmes
(Former CEO of Health Technology Company 'Theranos' Who Was Convicted of Fraud)

Elizabeth Holmes
126
Birthdate: February 3, 1984
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Washington, D.C., United States

Elizabeth Holmes is a former businesswoman who is credited with founding the now-defunct health technology company Theranos . It was later revealed that Elizabeth Holmes had deceived her investors with false claims. The rise and fall of her company inspired a book titled Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup.

 19 
Walter Keane
(Plagiarist)

Walter Keane
3
Birthdate: October 7, 1915
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Lincoln, Nebraska, United States
Died: December 27, 2000

 20 
Bernard Madoff
(Fraudster)

Bernard Madoff
40
Birthdate: April 29, 1938
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Queens, New York, United States
Died: April 14, 2021

 21 
Paul Manafort
(Consultant)

Paul Manafort
7
Birthdate: April 1, 1949
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: New Britain, Connecticut, United States

Paul Manafort is an American former lobbyist, lawyer, political consultant, and convicted bank fraudster. As a political consultant, he served as an adviser to the presidential campaigns of Ronald Reagan, Gerald Ford, and George H. W. Bush. He is also credited with co-founding a lobbying firm called Black, Manafort & Stone.

 22 
Lou Pearlman
(Record producer)

Lou Pearlman
7
Birthdate: June 19, 1954
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Flushing, New York, United States
Died: August 19, 2016

Lou Pearlman was a record producer and creator of successful boy bands like NSYNC and Backstreet Boys. In 2006, Pearlman was accused of running a Ponzi scheme. After pleading guilty to money laundering, conspiracy, and making false statements, Lou Pearlman was sentenced to 25 years in prison. Pearlman was the subject of the 2019 documentary, The Boy Band Con

 23 
Richie Farmer
(Basketball player)

Richie Farmer
0
Birthdate: August 25, 1969
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Corbin, Kentucky, United States

 24 
Barry Minkow
(Businessperson, Pastor, and convicted felon)

Barry Minkow
2
Birthdate: March 22, 1966
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Inglewood, California, United States

Businessman, felon and pastor, Barry Minkow opened his first business while in high school. But faced with fund crunch, he soon resorted to felony, ultimately executing a massive investment fraud, resulting in imprisonment. Later he became a pastor and fraud investigator, concurrently continuing with his illegal dealings, resulting in another confinement and a sentence to pay $612 million in restitution.

 25 
Jesse Jackson Jr.
(Politician)

Jesse Jackson Jr.
3
Birthdate: March 11, 1965
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Greenville, South Carolina, United States

 26 
Frank DiPascali
(Chief financial officer, Fraudster)

Frank DiPascali
1
Birthdate: October 28, 1956
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Queens, New York, United States
Died: May 7, 2015

 27 
Charles Albright
(Serial killer)

Charles Albright
3
Birthdate: August 10, 1933
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Amarillo, Texas, USA

Charles Albright was an American criminal and serial killer who was suspected of killing three women. In 1991, he was convicted of murdering a woman named Shirley Williams and imprisoned in the John Montford Psychiatric Unit in Texas. His story was covered by the media and many TV networks like HBO aired episodes related to Charles Albright.

 28 
Jeb Stuart Magruder
(Business Person)

Jeb Stuart Magruder
0
Birthdate: November 5, 1934
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Staten Island, New York
Died: May 11, 2014

 29 
Farid Fata
(Hematologist)

Farid Fata
1
Birthdate: 1965 AD
Birthplace: Lebanon

 30 
Rasmea Odeh
(Associate director of the Arab American Action Network, Chicago, Illinois)

Rasmea Odeh
1
Birthdate: 1947 AD
Birthplace: Lifta, British Mandate Palestine

 31 
James McDougal
(Businessman)

James McDougal
2
Birthdate: August 25, 1940
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: White County, Arkansas, United States
Died: March 8, 1998

 32 
James Hart Stern
(Known for defusing gang violence in the 1980s and 1990s, Convicted on five counts of wire fraud)

James Hart Stern
2
Birthdate: June 13, 1964
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Los Angeles, California, United States
Died: October 11, 2019

 33 

Adam Starchild
0
Birthdate: September 20, 1946
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Minnesota, United States
Died: September 22, 2006