10 Laws That Don’t Apply to the Insanely Rich
Do you ever feel like sometimes rich people get away with things that normal people just have to deal with? In America, the ultra-wealthy elite are used to such privilege — they have vast amounts of money that they can use to influence people and even the laws themselves. Here are a few laws that just don’t seem to apply to the ultra-rich.
Driving Under the Influence
Everyone heard about the case of Ethan Crouch, a wildly rich teenager who got off with a slap on the wrist after killing four other people while driving under the influence. His lawyer used the defense of “affluenza” — that is, that Crouch was so wealthy that he wasn’t fully able to comprehend the consequences of his actions. He got off with an incredibly light punishment — only ten years probation when the average person would have gone to prison for decades.
Crouch’s case proves that anybody who can hire a lawyer that has the audacity to argue that wealth was the biggest mitigating factor in their case has more money than the average person will ever see in their entire lifetime.
In 2010, filmmaker Andrew Jarecki was contacted by Robert Durst, the infamous son of a real estate magnate in New York. Durst had seen a film of Jarecki’s, and wanted to give Jarecki access to his life in order to make a documentary on him. Jarecki jumped at the chance, as reclusive Durst was not only extraordinarily wealthy, but was also known as a murderer who got off because his father hired an entire team of brilliant lawyers to mount his defense.
At the end of the film, while Durst was on mic but was unaware that it was still live, he essentially admitted to being guilty of the deaths of three separate people: his former wife, a neighbor, and his best friend. He was arrested in 2015, and his trial is ongoing.
There are tons of celebs and other rich people who got away with tax evasion for years before being apprehended. It seems insane that wealthy people seek to avoid paying their taxes like any other law-abiding citizen, but it definitely happens. There are many famous cases: Wesley Snipes, Martha Stewart, and Annie Leibovitz are just a few of the wealthy celebs who have been busted for tax evasion over the years. In these cases, we’re not just talking about one year of paying zero dollars to the government — we’re talking about years and years of avoidance and greed that thankfully ended with them being caught.
Who knows how many more rich people there are out there who don’t believe they need to pay taxes? The recently-released Panama Papers will surely reveal more names.