To their fans, celebrities seem completely untouchable. Sitting atop a throne of wealth and fame that is unattainable to many, it seems as though the rich and famous truly have it all. There is a false sense of security in being safeguarded by all of the security features and body guards that money can buy. No matter how hard anyone may try, it’s impossible to always stay out of harms way, and in many cases, due to their sheer fortunes, celebrities are even more targeted when it comes to scams. A celebrity scam that is successfully executed could potentially be worth millions upon millions of dollars, and unfortunately, many stars have fallen victim to such crimes. In fact, Biography has even reported on the carefully calculated crimes that have scammed celebrities out of more money than most people could ever imagine possible.
6 Kiefer Sutherland
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The critically acclaimed Kiefer Sutherland was taken advantage of in a very big way in 2010, when he thought he was making what seemed to be very low risk investment. Instead of gambling with unknowns in the stock market, cattle manager Michael Wayne Carr convinced Sutherland to invest in something more tangible – live cattle. He was supposed to use Sutherland’s money to buy live cattle from Mexico and sell the livestock to buyers in the United States. Unfortunately for Sutherland, after giving Carr more than $869,000, he took off with the cash. He was later arrested and Watch Mojo reports that he pled guilty to forgery and grand theft larceny.
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5 Uma Thurman
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Uma Thurman was scammed of millions of dollars by Kenneth Starr, a man that is now known to have scammed many celebrities during his criminal run. He was a financial advisor with very bad intentions, and ended up being exposed for defrauding a long list of celebrities to the tune of $30 million. He had successfully managed to get a slew of celebrities to entrust him with their money, only to end up stealing from them in the end. It has been reported that she demanded her money back from him with mixed reports as to whether or not he paid up. His elaborate ponzi scheme landed him 7.5 years in prison and he faced fraud and money laundering charges.
4 Ben Stiller
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Another famous stock broker in the celebrity world was responsible for robbing Ben Stiller of $250,000. In this case, the crook’s name was Dana Giacchetto, and this is one financial broker Ben wishes he had never met. He trusted this man to keep his finances in check and his best interests at heart, but sadly, that meant nothing to the crook. He seized the opportunity and robbed Stiller instead. In total, he scammed $10 million from a long list of celebrities, which included Stiller’s pals Matt Damon and Ben Affleck, as well.
Thankfully, In 2001, Giacchetto was forced to face the music and eventually received a three year prison sentence. He is said to have passed away in custody.
3 Kevin Bacon and Kyra Sedgwick
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Kevin Bacon and Kyra Sedgwick were scammed in a huge way, but can at the very least take comfort in knowing they were merely one of many that were taken advantage of by Bernie Madoff. One of the biggest Ponzi schemes in history was led by Madoff who is solely responsible for defrauding thousands of people of upwards of $65 billion.
Madoff targeted a series of celebrities, business moguls, nonprofit charity groups and regular citizens, but clearly didn’t cover his tracks well enough to evade the law.
The Guardian reports that Kevin Bacon tried to stay level headed about losing millions by stating “It was a bad day, But pretty quickly we were able to see all the things we had as opposed to whatever we lost, and those are the biggest cliches: children, health, love, a nice home. So we got through it together.”
2 Robert De Niro
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Robert De Niro’s run in with celebrity scams came in a different form. A man by the name of Lawrence Salander took advantage of De Niro’s love for art by agreeing to get hold of artwork created by De Niro’s lost father, using the actor’s money. Instead he sent behind de Niro’s back to sell the collection, making millions and of course, taking De Niro’s money in the process.
De Niro ended up losing $1 million and Salander was sentenced to a long jail term.
1 Tiger Woods
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Tiger Woods got scammed in a huge way when his identity was stolen in 1998. In this very personal, super scary situation, Anthony Lemar Taylor somehow obtained Tiger Woods’ name, birth date and enough personal information to buy himself a brand new car. When he got away with that, he decided to do even more damage and bought himself a 70- inch television, and a slew of other fancy, overpriced items. He racked up a bill worth thousands of dollars before winding up in jail.
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Sources: Biography, Yahoo Entertainment, WatchMojo, The Guardian
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