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10 Celebrities Who Committed White-Collar Crimes and Got Caught

These celebrities served sentences for various offenses such as fraud, tax evasion, embezzlement, bribery, and counterfeiting.
Cover Image Source: GettyImages/ Photo by: (L) Jason Mendez (M) Santi Visalli (R)  Kimberly White
Cover Image Source: GettyImages/ Photo by: (L) Jason Mendez (M) Santi Visalli (R) Kimberly White

Celebrities on the Wrong Side of the Law

Jail of the Plaza de Castilla | Getty Images | Photo by Matias Nieto
Jail of the Plaza de Castilla | Getty Images | Photo by Matias Nieto

The allure of fame and fortune often casts a long shadow, and even some of the most prominent celebrities have been unable to escape its pitfalls. White-collar crimes, while nonviolent, have landed several famous individuals behind bars, serving sentences for various offenses such as fraud, tax evasion, embezzlement, bribery, and counterfeiting. In this listicle, we delve into the stories of ten celebrities who found themselves on the wrong side of the law.

1. Todd Chrisley

Todd Chrisley | Getty Images
Todd Chrisley | Getty Images

Todd Chrisley, known for his role in the popular reality TV series "Chrisley Knows Best," faced a shocking downfall in November 2022 when he was sentenced to prison. As a prominent Georgia real estate magnate, Todd received a substantial 12-year prison term. His conviction was related to bank fraud and tax evasion, with Todd being found guilty of orchestrating a scheme that involved faking audits and bank statements to secure $36 million in loans. These funds were used to support their extravagant lifestyle. Todd will leave the Federal Prison Camp Pensacola in January 2033.

2. Julie Chrisley

Julie Chrisley visit Hallmark's
Julie Chrisley | Photo by Paul Archuleta | Getty Images

Julie Chrisley, best known for her co-starring role in "Chrisley Knows Best," shared the dramatic downfall that unfolded in November 2022. She was handed a 7-year prison sentence, alongside her husband Todd, following their convictions for bank fraud and tax evasion. The couple's scheme involved deceptive audits and falsified bank statements, resulting in the acquisition of $36 million in loans to sustain their opulent way of life. Julie’s sentence has been shortened by 14 months and she will now be released from the Federal Medical Center Lexington in October 2028.

3. Martha Stewart

Martha Stewart attends the CHANEL Tribeca Film Festival Artists Dinner | Getty Images | Nicholas Hunt
Martha Stewart | Getty Images | Nicholas Hunt

Martha Stewart, the home decor mogul, experienced a fall from grace in late 2004. She served five months in a West Virginia federal prison camp for women humorously referred to as "Camp Cupcake." Following her prison term, she endured another five months of electronic monitoring at her home in Bedford, New York, during two years of supervised release. Stewart's convictions included charges of obstruction of justice and securities fraud. She was found guilty of conspiracy to obstruct, obstruction of an agency proceeding, and making false statements to federal investigators regarding the sale of her ImClone stock. Despite an appeal, Stewart paid a $30,000 fine and faced civil lawsuits.

4. Jen Shah 

Jen Shah is seen leaving Manhattan federal court after receiving a 6.5 year sentence for conspiracy to commit wire fraud on January 06, 2023 in New York City/ Photo by Gotham/GC Images
Jen Shah | Photo by Gotham | GC Images

Jen Shah, a star of "The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City," took a different route to her sentencing. In July 2022, she pleaded guilty to criminal fraud charges related to a telemarketing scheme. Her crime involved offering services of little to no value to elderly individuals. In January 2023, Shah was sentenced to six-and-a-half years in prison and she began her prison sentence in February 2023. “I have to come to terms that I have gone against these core values and I am deeply sorry for what I have done,” Shah said at her sentencing.

5. Teresa Giudice

Teresa Giudice attends the
Teresa Giudice | Photo by Dia Dipasupil | Getty Images

Teresa Giudice, known for her role on "The Real Housewives of New Jersey," faced a challenging period in her life due to legal troubles. In 2014, she was sentenced to 15 months in prison, although she served 11 months. These legal woes stemmed from allegations that she and her husband, Joe Giudice, had concealed their wealth during a bankruptcy filing. Their 39-count indictment included charges of mail fraud, wire fraud, bank fraud, and bankruptcy fraud. Additionally, the couple was accused of making false statements on loan applications and failing to file tax returns.

6. Joe Giudice

Teresa Giudice, (L) star of The Real Houswives of New Jersey, and Joe Giudice appears at Mount Airy Resort Casino for a book signing and meet and greet on March 5, 2016 in Mount Pocono City/ Photo by Paul Zimmerman/Getty Images for Mount Airy Casino Resort
Teresa Giudice, (L) and Joe Giudice | Photo by Paul Zimmerman | Getty Images for Mount Airy Casino Resort

Joe Giudice, the husband of Teresa Giudice, also faced significant legal issues related to their financial dealings. In 2014, Joe was sentenced to 41 months in prison after being found guilty of mail fraud, wire fraud, and bankruptcy fraud. These charges were part of a 39-count indictment that accused the couple of concealing their wealth during a bankruptcy filing. In addition to the fraud charges, they were accused of making false statements on loan applications and failing to file tax returns. This legal ordeal had a profound impact on their lives and their public image.

7. Bernie Madoff

Bernie Madoff | Wikipedia.
Bernie Madoff | Wikipedia.

Bernie Madoff was no ordinary criminal; he orchestrated the largest Ponzi scheme in history, defrauding investors of nearly $65 billion. The former chairman of the NASDAQ stock exchange faced charges of securities fraud, wire fraud, mail fraud, money laundering, perjury, theft from an employee benefit plan, and making false filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Despite actual losses totaling approximately $18 billion, $14 billion has been recovered and returned. Madoff was sentenced to 150 years in federal prison. In 2021, he passed away at the age of 82 due to natural causes while serving his sentence.

8. Elizabeth Holmes

Getty Images | 	Justin Sullivan
Getty Images | Justin Sullivan

Elizabeth Holmes, once celebrated as the CEO of the biotechnology startup Theranos, found herself on the wrong side of the law in November 2022. She was sentenced to 11 years and 3 months in prison for defrauding investors. Holmes, aged 38, reported to a minimum-security, federal women’s prison camp located in Bryan, Texas in May 2023. Holmes was hailed as a rising star for her innovative approach to blood testing, but her empire crumbled under allegations of deception and fraud.

9. Mike Sorrentino

Mike Sorrentino | Photo by NDZ | Star Max | GC Images

Mike Sorrentino, famous for his role on MTV's "Jersey Shore," faced legal troubles for tax fraud. He was charged with failing to pay taxes on $8.9 million of income in 2014. In 2017, he was hit with additional charges of tax evasion and structuring bank deposits to avoid reporting thresholds. In 2018, Sorrentino agreed to a plea deal in which he pleaded guilty to one count of tax evasion. He served 8 months in a New York prison in 2019 and was sentenced to two years of probation and 500 hours of community service.

10. Al Capone

Image Source:  Wikimedia Commons
Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

Notorious gangster Al Capone, a symbol of the Prohibition era, faced a different kind of justice. In 1931, Capone was convicted of income tax evasion, landing him an 11-year prison sentence. He began serving his time at a prison in Atlanta, Georgia, in 1932, before being transferred to Alcatraz federal prison in San Francisco Bay in 1934. Due to failing health, Capone was paroled in late 1939 and ultimately passed away in 1947. His story continues to be a significant part of American criminal history.