9 Rich People Who’ve Been Busted for Tax Evasion
Celebrities and the Richest of the Rich are infamous for getting into all kinds of trouble for bending or breaking laws. Some of the more serious problems come when rich people “forget” to pay taxes on the millions, or even billions, they’ve earned over the year. Here’s a list of a few people that hid millions away from the IRS and got caught.
Most people know Martha Stewart as the queen of early home and garden television — she made millions off her TV shows, magazine, and endorsement deals of products ranging from cookware to scrapbooks. Her most famous brush with the law was a 2004 conviction for insider trading, which resulted in a 5-month stint in prison (she was sent to FCI Danbury, the real-life inspiration for Orange is the New Black’s Litchfield Penitentiary). However, many people don’t know that she also racked up $220,000 in back taxes on a house that she claims she didn’t know she had to pay for.
Convicted in 2008 for three misdemeanor counts of failing to file taxes, it’s estimated that Wesley Snipes cheated the government out of $7 million over three years. He was sentenced along with his accountant who originally convinced him not to file taxes in the first place. His strong belief against the tax system swayed Snipes, and he joined their movement against the IRS. The case against Snipes and his colleagues was the largest criminal prosecution for tax evasion in the USA.
In 2002, Nicolas Cage was slapped with a bill for over $13 million in back taxes, which went unpaid for over 5 years. During the legal proceedings, Cage blamed a former business manager for negligence, and accused him of driving him to “financial ruin.” Cage was forced to sell many of his gorgeous homes and estates in order to pay his tax bill, including a 500-year-old Bavarian castle, several luxury yachts, and a jet.